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.
Jackson on Monday evening arrived at Redskins Park after flying from Los Angeles and went to dinner with Coach Jay Gruden and members of his staff. In the late hours of Tuesday night, the two sides got a deal done despite the fact that Jackson reportedly had other teams interested in his services.
The deal is believed to be three years; financial terms were not immediately available.
Shortly after the agreement was announced, Jackson posted on Twitter: “ITS GOIN DOWN !! BURGUNDY & GOLD.”
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.
Jackson, 27, and entering his seventh season, is coming off of his finest campaign after recording 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns on 82 catches. But he fell out of favor with Coach Chip Kelly after just one season and the Eagles, pointing to concerns about Jackson’s impact on the locker room, released him on Friday. The move came just two years after Philadelphia awarded Jackson a five-year, $48 million contract, and despite the fact that he counts $6.25 million against the Eagles’ salary cap this season.
Jackson also found himself at the center of controversy after having his name linked to gang activity, which some reports also said played a factor in his release. But the wide receiver, who was involved in charitable work in Philadelphia, adamantly denied those allegations, and the Los Angeles Police Department told the Philadelphia Daily News that Jackson has not been involved in gang violence.
The Redskins’ offense ranked ninth in the NFL with 369.7 yards a game despite struggles from Griffin as he worked his way back into form after needing reconstructive knee surgery following the 2012 season.
Garcon led the league in catches, and Reed put up impressive numbers before missing the final four games with lingering concussion symptoms. But Washington lacked another reliable wide receiver. They signed Roberts on the first day of free agency, and now have added Jackson, who has made his presence felt both as a pass-catcher and a return man.
Jackson has had some of his best games against the Redskins, racking up 32 catches for 572 yards and five touchdowns in 11 matchups.
Redskins players had lobbied both publicly and privately for Jackson’s addition shortly after his release. They shared confidence that Jackson could both help them on the field, and fit into their locker room without problems.
Mark Maske contributed to this report.