DeSean Jackson wasn’t expected to be one of the most talked about free agents this NFL offseason. The go-to receiver for the Eagles last year had his best statistical season and many thought that he’d resign with Philly and stay put. However, two weeks ago the Eagles were reportedly shopping Jackson and, when that didn’t go through, they eventually cut him this past weekend. It didn’t take long for the Pro Bowl receiver to find a new home after he visited the Redskins on Monday, and Tuesday he inked a new deal to play in the same division as his old team.
The Eagles and Redskins are both of the NFC East, which some would consider to be the worst division in football. Last year a lot of teams came in hyped up with talent, but it was the Eagles that finished the season on two-game winning streak and edged out the Cowboys for the only spot awarded to the NFC East for the playoffs.
The Redskins would’ve just liked to have been in the conversation, but instead their 3-13 record brought up plenty of unwanted attention. Their season was full of Robert Griffin III issues and injuries, which led to Mike Shannahan and other members of the Redskins staff being fired. They went out and got Jay Gruden, who was the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati, and they’ll hope to use his explosive firepower to combine RGIII and the newly acquired Jackson.
The most telling part in all of this fiasco may be the fact that Jackson decided to go to a team that will get the chance to play his former team at least twice a year. Staying in the same division, you can expect that the matchup between the Eagles and Redskins will be even more anticipated next year, especially as playoff races heat up or even if both teams sputter out the gates.
Although the Eagles did not confirm the report, many conversations included concerns that Jackson had gang affiliations, which Philly did not want to get involved with. And while it’s uncertain as to whether or not that was true, now Jackson will be paired up alongside Santana Moss as the two will make up one of the most feared duos in the NFC East.
The Redskins have yet to shake their embarrassment from last year. They are currently listed at 75/1 favorites to win the 2015 Super Bowl, making them the last in their division, though they are just two places ahead of Dallas who is 65/1.The Giants sit at 50/1 and the Eagles are 25/1.
However, before you go out and completely dismiss the Redskins hopes this upcoming season, don’t forget that they finished 10-6 in 2012 and represented the NFC East in the playoffs. And despite a sophomore slump from RGIII, he appears to be much more healthy going into this new season than what he was last year.
The Redskins could be a great bet to make if you think that Jackson is going to be enough firepower to turn things around in the NFC East. One thing’s for sure, the Eagles certainly won’t be able to utilize the firepower of two explosive receivers like they had this year with Riley Cooper and Jackson. That factor alone could be enough for the Redskins to turn things around. Then again, they still have the Giants and Cowboys to worry about.
Let’s hope that, along with the movement of Jackson, the entire NFC East is much more entertaining next season. And if RGIII and the Redskins are healthy, things could certainly be just that.
Once DeSean Jackson and/or Robert Griffin III figured out that for Jackson to get No. 10 with the Redskins, someone needed to pay for all the unsold Griffin jerseys in circulation so Griffin could switch numbers, any chance Jackson had of getting the number he wore with the Eagles ended abruptly.
Jackson joked about getting No. 10 on Wednesday, but the NFL has a rule in place that any player wanting to switch numbers or names on his jersey has to pay for all the unsold league-licensed jerseys on the market. There are a lot of Griffin jerseys out there.
Instead, the Redskins’ newest receiver will just double up his college No. 1. Jackson will wear jersey No. 11 with the Redskins. Done and done.
The Redskins did have a quarterback change numbers to appease a new receiver, but Griffin or Jackson weren’t involved.
Receiver Andre Roberts, who came over from Arizona, wanted No. 12. The problem was that quarterback Kirk Cousins already had it. But, because Cousins didn’t have the same issue of paying for his league-licensed jerseys in circulation, the players worked out a deal. Roberts will donate $12,000 to the Kirk Cousins Football Camp, and will get No. 12, according to the Redskins’ website. Cousins will switch to his college number, which is No. 8. Done and done.