Redskins may not be willing to break the bank for Jackson


DeSean Jackson fell out of favor with Chip Kelly and the Eagles. (Michael Perez/Associated Press)

Despite being in full agreement in the decision to pursue former Philadelphia Eagle DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins officials may not be willing to award the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver a highly lucrative contract, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

The Redskins believe that Jackson, whom the Eagles released Friday just two years after giving him a five-year, $48.5 million contract and despite the fact that he will still count $6.25 million against their cap, can significantly upgrade their offense. The team’s decision makers envision a receiving unit comprised of Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Andre Roberts and tight end Jordan Reed as an explosive collection of weapons for quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Washington will host Jackson on Monday evening and Tuesday, according to multiple sources. Two people classified the Redskins as “all in” in their pursuit of Jackson. But they acknowledged that it remains unclear if Washington will be able to meet Jackson’s contract demands. Another person familiar with the team’s deliberations said that the team will only sign Jackson “if he’ll come on the cheap.”

The Redskins have roughly $6.8 million in cap space while two other teams interested in Jackson’s services — the Raiders and the Bills — both have roughly $14 million in cap space.

Washington, which still has remaining needs in addition to help at wide receiver, in an attempt to avoid absorbing all of its cap space could try to lure Jackson with a deal that would feature a lower base salary and a more significant prorated signing bonus.

The Redskins were the first team to schedule a visit with Jackson.

Jackson finds himself at the center of controversy after his release by Philadelphia. He reportedly clashed with former coach Chip Kelly last season and showed up late to meetings off and on in 2013. Jackson also has been rumored to have ties to gang-related activities, although a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department told the Philadelphia Daily News that Jackson was not linked to gang activity in his home town of L.A.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mike Jones · March 29

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