Free agent inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson signed with the Colts this morning. It was good news and bad news for the Redskins.
The bad news is that it takes away an option for a team that needs two inside linebackers with nobody who is under contract having started an NFL game at the position. The 30-year-old Jackson could have worked out well as a short- to medium-term in the middle after the retirement of London Fletcher.
The good news ins the contract he signed might help the Redskins in their negotiations with Perry Riley, their other inside linebacker for the last two and a half years who they would like to bring back. It has been reported that Riley is seeking a deal averaging $7 million per season. Jackson’s deal will give the Redskins a solid comparable to point to.
Jackson’s deal with the Colts is for four years and $22 million with $11 million guaranteed. That average of $5.5 million is probably more than what the Redskins want to pay Riley but it’s certainly closer to what they want to do than what Riley’s camp is seeking.
The Redskins will say that Jackson is more accomplished while Riley’s agent will say that his client is almost five years younger and had his best football ahead of him. The negotiations would go back and forth but at least now the Redskins have a solid comparable deal to help figure out what Riley’s true value is.