DeSean Jackson says he wants to remain a Redskin. But is that even possible?
“I want to be here,” the veteran wide receiver said, speaking on Redskins Nation on CSN. He said that his family is now in the area and that he has no desire to relocate.
What he said during his talk with Larry Michael was not the first sign that he might want to sign another contract with the Redskins. Jackson recently put out a post on Instagram showing him working out in the weight room at Redskins Park. Normally this time of year his social media is filled with nothing but photos of Jackson vacationing in some exotic destinations (and there are some of those, too). But it is noteworthy that he made sure to put out the message that he is serious about getting ready to play in 2017.
While he is letting the Redskins know that he is committed to taking care of his body, which now is 30 years old, it also sends the same message to the other 31 teams out there.
Not wanting to uproot your family and demonstrating your commitment to being ready for the season is great. But ultimately this will come down to money and the Redskins and Jackson have very different agendas when it comes to agreeing on a deal.
From Jackson’s point of view, this is his last shot at a big payday. It will be a three- or four-year deal so he will be 33 or 34 when it expires. A speed receiver can probably find work at that age but the big money won’t be there like it will be this time around.
The Redskins have their own set of financial realities. Although they have around $62 million in salary cap space and the ability to create more, they have other players they want to re-sign. One of them is quarterback Kirk Cousins, who could take up as much $24 million of that cap space. They also may want to bring back Pierre Garçon, another 30-year-old wide receiver who will be looking for a contract similar to Jackson’s.
The Redskins can afford both Jackson and Garçon this year; they have had them on the books the last three years. But they soon must deal with Jamison Crowder. The 2015 fourth-round pick has been very productive in his first two seasons and he will be eligible for a contract extension a year from now. Having three players with lucrative contracts at one position is a recipe for cap problems.
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Maybe things can be worked out. Jackson has demonstrated that money isn’t everything to him. Last year he decided to forego a $500,000 workout bonus to spend his spring doing other things. Maybe he won’t go for every dime he can get and give the Redskins a hometown discount.
It seems likely, however, that the Redskins will have trouble making the numbers work even if Jackson takes slightly less than market value to stay, especially if they do manage to bring back Garçon. If Garçon sees greener pastures elsewhere, perhaps Jackson will stay. Or maybe the Redskins will bite the bullet, hold off Crowder’s extension a year, and bring back both veteran receivers.
Those scenarios are possible but what seems to be most likely is that Jackson will be in another uniform in 2017 despite the messages being sent by his words and Instagram posts.