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DeSean Jackson focused on Redskins playoff hopes, but 'definitely intrigued' for free agency

DeSean Jackson focused on Redskins playoff hopes, but 'definitely intrigued' for free agency

The demise of DeSean Jackson was greatly exaggerated.

Halfway through the Redskins season, the receiver was in the middle of a down season, on track for statistical lows in multiple categories. 

With Week 17 approaching, that narrative is long over.

Jackson is on pace for his third 1,000 yard receiving season in four years, his yards-per-catch will likely finish in the top half of his career, and in his last three games the wideout has gone for 15 catches for 327 yards and a touchdown. 

The recent run of dominant play has again raised Jackson's league-wide profile, and it's come at the perfect time. Free agency beckons for Jackson.

"I'm focused on winning the game, trying to make a push into the playoffs," Jackson said Wednesday. "I’m focused on being a Redskin and finishing strong and once free agency comes, we’ll see how it plays out."

Jackson was asked specifically about rumors linking him to the Eagles, the team that drafted him and where he played the first six seasons of his career. 

"Nothing to really say. People say what they want to say or make comments and just carry on conversations," he said on the possibility of going back to Philadelphia.

The only team Jackson did mention was Washington — and he made it clear he's enjoyed playing for the Redskins and wants to stay, but at the same time, picking his landing spot will be important. 

"First time in my career I’m going to be able to hit the free agent market, so I’m definitely intrigued about seeing what’s going to happen, test the market and see what’s going on. Who knows what happens. Hopefully I’m still here, but you never know how it plays out."

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Should the Redskins lose this weekend, the season ends. That means it could be Jackson's last game in a Washington uniform.

"You really try not to get caught up in that. It’s been a great three years. I’ve had a great time here in Washington. I love the city. A lot of great times, a lot of great memories. So as far as me thinking about my time being here, if it can be my last (game), I don’t really look at it like that. We’ll see how it plays out."

Options remain to keep Jackson dressed in Burgundy and Gold. The first, and perhaps easiest, is for the 'Skins to win on Sunday and make the playoffs. The second, costlier option will be to re-sign Jackson once free agency hits. 

The question remains if the Giants will play their starters this Sunday at FedEx Field, or rest their players as New York has already clinched a playoff spot. 

"I want their best shot," Jackson said. "Hopefully we’ll be able to get into one of those great battles. Hopefully it doesn’t come down to the end, but even if it does, hopefully we’re able to do everything we can to win the game."

Beat the Giants, and fans get at least one more chance to watch Jackson wearing the Redskins jersey this season, and perhaps more. 

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Draft Trade Simulator: Are the Chargers desperate enough to make the Redskins move?

Draft Trade Simulator: Are the Chargers desperate enough to make the Redskins move?

The Redskins hold the No. 2 overall selection in the NFL Draft and there could be plenty of suitors for the pick. JP Finlay works through hypothetical draft day trades. 

As some buzz grows that Washington might look to trade down from the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, one team that could be interested in moving up would be the Los Angeles Chargers. 

Yes, Los Angeles, not San Diego, and that’s a big part of why this could actually happen. Once the Chargers left Ron Burgundy’s hometown to move up to Hollywood, they lost a ton of fans, and soon they will be playing football in a new stadium. A rookie quarterback with a national name could help sell a lot of tickets and convert new fans to the Lightning Bolts. 

That quarterback’s name? Tua Tagovailoa.

The Bengals will take the draft’s biggest star in Joe Burrow with the first overall pick, and after Burrow, no player will command more attention than the former Alabama record-breaker. Injury questions will trail Tua throughout the pre-draft process, and the lack of official visits and workouts could hinder his ability to make an impact of NFL decision makers. Still, Tagovailoa is an elite prospect decorated with an incredible career for the Crimson Tide that, if healthy, could transform an NFL team immediately.

So how could a trade between the Redskins and Chargers happen? Let's take a look.

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Parameters

In 2016 the Eagles made a massive trade to move from the eighth spot to the second spot so they could draft Carson Wentz. To make the move, the Eagles sent the Browns five total picks, including their first-rounder, third-rounder and fourth-rounder that year in addition to another first and second-rounder in subsequent years. In the transaction Cleveland sent back a fourth-rounder in 2017. 

This year the Chargers hold the sixth pick but their biggest competition to take a quarterback is Miami, the team with the fifth overall pick and a load of draft capital to make any move work. If the Chargers want to get ahead of the Dolphins, the package will need to be big, and perhaps similar to the deal the Eagles made in 2016 for Wentz.

The Chargers hold one pick in every round of the next two drafts, so they could work out a package of picks to move up if they want. Los Angeles could also try to package tight end Hunter Henry in a deal. He’s currently on the roster via the franchise tag, and the Redskins desperately need help at the tight end position. 

Outlook

Don’t count on it but don’t count it out either. The Chargers have Tyrod Taylor under contract for 2020 but no long-term answer at quarterback. 

It’s also possible Los Angeles decides to wait for a QB another season and just build the rest of the team for multiple reasons. The Coronavirus could change schedules dramatically, and the Chargers have a lot of talent on their roster. Another year of building the entire team could be the best path, besides a major draft trade could hurt the effort to build a long-term winner in LA. 

Here's the thing though, desperate times call for desperate measures. 

The Chargers ranked dead last in NFL attendance for the last three seasons. In 2019, the Chargers averaged about 32,000 fans per game, almost 20,000 fans fewer than the next closest team.

Los Angeles has to build its fanbase. Must. Tua could be the ticket to selling tickets. 

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Redskins great, Hall of Fame legend Bobby Mitchell dies

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Associated Press

Redskins great, Hall of Fame legend Bobby Mitchell dies

Bobby Mitchell, who became the first black player on the Redskins before going on to spend decades in the team's front office after his Hall of Fame playing career had ended, died on Sunday according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was 84.

“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Bobby Mitchell. The Game lost a true legend today. Bobby was an incredible player, a talented executive and a real gentleman to everyone with whom he worked or competed against. His wife Gwen and their entire family remain in our thoughts and prayers. The Hall of Fame will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration to future generations,” Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker said in a statement. 

Mitchell was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the eighth round of the 1958 draft. He was traded to Washington in 1962 and by the time his 11-year playing career ended, he was third in NFL history with 14,078 total yards.

He earned four Pro Bowl nods. He started in Washington's front office immediately after his playing career ended, eventually rising up to be the team's assistant general manager. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. 

“I was extremely saddened to hear the news about the passing of the great Bobby Mitchell. Bobby was a Hall of Fame player and executive and represented the Washington Redskins organization with integrity for over 50 years. His passion for the game of football was unmatched by anyone I have ever met," Redskins team owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. 

"Not only was he one of the most influential individuals in franchise history, but he was also one of the greatest men I have ever known. He was a true class act and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Gwen and the entire Mitchell family during this time."