The Washington Redskins rank among a handful of teams that have expressed interest in former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
Update 6:34 p.m.: The Redskins are expected to host Jackson for a visit early this coming week, according to a person familiar with the team’s plans.
The Eagles released the three-time Pro Bowler on Friday after failing to find a willing trade partner. Jackson had fallen out of favor with the Eagles and Coach Chip Kelly just two years after signing a five-year, $48.5 million contract extension and just one season into Kelly’s tenure with the team.
The Eagles released Jackson despite the fact that he posted career numbers with 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. Philadelphia’s decision-makers reportedly had growing concern about Jackson after he showed up late to meetings and clashed with Kelly off and on last season. The team also had concerns about Jackson’s alleged gang connections, according to a report from NJ.com. Jackson’s contract called for him to earn a base salary of $10.5 million in 2014. Although the Eagles released him, Jackson will still count for $6.25 million against their cap this season. That’s the remaining portion of a $10 million signing bonus owed to him, which he still will receive.
The Redskins aren’t alone in their interest in Jackson. The Raiders, Chiefs (coached by Andy Reid, who coached Jackson for the first five seasons of his career), 49ers and Bills also have expressed interest in Jackson, according to multiple reports.
It remains unclear how earnestly Washington will pursue Jackson, or if he shares mutual interest. But people within the organization believe the speedy pass-catcher-return man could significantly elevate the Redskins’ offense. One person, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that while interested, Washington’s decision makers acknowledge that there are obvious concerns about Jackson’s past, which include an arrest for possession of marijuana, and about what kind of impact he could have on the locker room. But another believed that Jackson, with strong mentoring, could both settle into Washington’s locker room and help the offense.
Washington, according to NFLPA records, has $6.9 million in cap space, although those figures could differ slightly from the league’s records.
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