Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2013 file photo, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) reaches for a pass from quarterback Michael Vick as New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster (23) defends during the first half of an NFL football game in Philadelphia. Washington made its biggest move yet of the offseason Tuesday night, April 1, 2014, adding three-time Pro Bowl receiver DeSean Jackson less than a week after the dynamic playmaker was released by the rival Philadelphia Eagles. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
NFL: Washington gives Jackson $16M guaranteed
First Published Apr 02 2014 09:26 am • Last Updated Apr 03 2014 04:45 pm

Washington • Adding DeSean Jackson to an offense with Robert Griffin III should make Washington fun to watch again.

Adding Jackson to a locker room culture undergoing yet another overhaul could be the greater challenge.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Washington made its biggest move yet of the 2014 offseason Wednesday when Jackson returned to the team’s headquarters to sign his contract after two days of visits and negotiations, highlighted by a recruiting-style evening out with cornerback DeAngelo Hall, receiver Pierre Garcon and rapper Wale.

Jackson will get $16 million guaranteed in the three-year, $24 million deal, according to a person familiar with the terms who spoke on condition of anonymity because Washington did not publicly disclose the financial details.

Washington is getting a three-time Pro Bowl receiver with speed, someone who singlehandedly can change a defense’s approach. He set career highs with 82 catches for 1,332 yards last year for the NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles. And Jackson, who led the NFL in punt return average in 2009, can give a badly needed boost to Washington’s special teams, although his production in the return game has waned over the last three years.

Washington is also getting a player not afraid to speak his mind and who isn’t shy about his talents. He had a history of off-the-field issues in his six seasons with the Eagles. Among the lowlights: In 2011, he was deactivated for a game for being late for a team meeting and dropped more passes than usual, part of a season-long spillover from his unfulfilled desire for a new contract that led to an 11-day training camp holdout.

Last year, in Chip Kelly’s first season as the Eagles’ coach, Jackson fumed at members of the coaching staff on the sideline during a game and had to be restrained by two teammates, upset because he didn’t get the ball when he was wide open. After the season was over, he lobbied for yet another new contract — just two years after getting a five-year, $48.2 million deal that included a $10 million signing bonus.

The Eagles decided enough was enough and tried unsuccessfully to trade Jackson. They released him last week, and Jackson on the same day issued a statement aimed at quashing another off-the-field report, denying any involvement in gang activity near his hometown in Southern California.

Washington is coming off a 3-13 season overwhelmed by bad chemistry between coach Mike Shanahan and franchise player Griffin. Shanahan was fired and replaced by Jay Gruden, who will be trying to set a new tone in the locker room.

Washington has weighed the risk-reward of talent-with-baggage before, with mixed results. Hall was known as much for his temperament as his talent when he arrived midseason in 2008, but he’s emerged as a team leader, made the Pro Bowl in 2010 and was re-signed last month.


story continues below
story continues below

But there was also Albert Haynesworth, who signed a massive contract in 2009 and gave the team one off-the-field headache after another over two seasons.

Washington is losing one of its veteran leaders, linebacker London Fletcher, who has announced plans to retire. Fletcher’s replacement, leadership-wise, might be safety Ryan Clark, who agreed to terms earlier this week and signed his deal Wednesday. The 34-year-old Clark returns to Washington after eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

If Jackson fits in, he’ll join an offense that includes skill players Griffin, Garcon, Andre Roberts, Jordan Reed and Alfred Morris — a formidable lineup if the line holds up.

Washington had been relatively cautious this offseason with general manager Bruce Allen in charge of the roster for the first time. The team’s biggest move previously had been at the expense of another NFC East rival, signing defensive lineman Jason Hatcher as a free agent from the Dallas Cowboys.

———

AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP—NFL

———

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAPJGWhiteAP



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.