Shortly before midnight, Washington Redskins fans got the good news they’d been hoping for. Free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson isn’t leaving town after all, at least not before agreeing to a three-year deal, per Mark Maske. Writes Mike Jones, in the story about the signing:
In their most dramatic move of the offseason, the Washington Redskins have come to terms on a contract with free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson, two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed late Tuesday night.
Jones acknowledges the team’s excitement over their potential on offense:
The Redskins believe that the three-time Pro Bowl wideout will help further ignite an offense that already has some talented pieces in quarterback Robert Griffin III, wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts, tight end Jordan Reed and running back Alfred Morris.
In Jason Reid’s latest column, post-signing, he echoes those sentiments, in praise of the move. In particular, he points out how Garcon should benefit:
Garcon’s work immediately becomes easier. Few Redskins players were as mentally drained as Garcon after last season’s 3-13 debacle. The losing was bad enough, and Garcon also was frustrated because he rarely had the opportunity to help the Redskins as much as he envisioned, people in the organization say. The problem? Double coverage.
There’s no nice way to put this: Garcon was the only Redskins wide receiver who concerned opponents. He often was covered by the cornerback opposite him and a safety.
No more. Mark Bullock broke down video of Jackson and looked at what he does better than Aldrick Robinson, and how his presence helps Garcon.
On this occasion, the safety stays deep because of the threat of Robinson, leaving Garcon wide open as he cuts inside. It’s an extremely effective concept that gives the quarterback an easy throw. However, teams began to catch on and started attacking the dig from Garcon, taking it away. Robinson couldn’t take advantage of the safeties taking away Garcon often enough. But as we’ve already seen, Jackson is more than capable of doing that. Adding DeSean Jackson gives the defense an extra weapon to worry about on this concept. They will always have to account for Jackson, leaving space for Garcon underneath. The other option is to play two safeties deep, but that leaves seven in the box, which Washington has always been happy to run against.
Scott Allen of the D.C. Sports Bog recalled Jackson’s reputation as someone who did big damage in NFC East games, particularly against the Redskins. Reading about his top five games against Washington might get you excited for Jackson to turn the tables on his former employer. Here’s one you probably remember:
The Monday Night Nightmare. Jackson had two catches for 98 yards, including an 88-yard touchdown grab on the Eagles’ first play from scrimmage. The ensuing 59-28 rout was uglier than the McFlacco jersey and McNabb contract news in the clip [in the Bog post].
Jones, in his weekly mailbag, answered questions about how Jackson’s addition affects draft strategy. And Reid, Dan Steinberg and LaVar Arrington debated the merits of the move in the below video:
At the moment I’m typing this, 17,575 people had voted in the simple yes/no ‘Do you want DeSean Jackson on the Redskins?’ poll from Monday. Looks like 11,754 of you are pretty thrilled. The comment section below is open for you to celebrate, be cautiously optimistic or shoot the breeze with fellow fans. Enjoy.