Two times a season for the past six years, DeAngelo Hall’s challenge when the Redskins faced the Eagles was to shut down DeSean Jackson.
So, as you might imagine, he was quite excited to hear that the free agent wide receiver -- cut loose by the Eagles on Friday in a surprising development -- is expected to visit Redskins Park next week, according to multiple reports.
“Huge, huge, man,” Hall said with a wide grin after playing in the Battle of the Beltway Celebrity All-Star basketball game Saturday night. “If we could add a piece like that … he's a threat whenever the ball is in hands.”
Jackson, a 27 year-old three-time Pro Bowler, hauled in 82 passes for a career high 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. He’s also an accomplished punt returner, though he hasn’t been used as much in that capacity in recent seasons.
“It automatically makes the special teams better,” Hall continued. “He’s a deep threat. You can’t put eight in the box. Man, if we could pull that off …I was a little disappointed early on in free agency, but if we could pull that off, hell, that would my day, make my year.”
Tight end Niles Paul also said he was excited to hear that Jackson was scheduled to visit.
“I think DeSean Jackson would be a nice addition to our team … a definite improvement to our offense and another weapon for RG3 to have,” Paul said. “He’s a speed guy. He’s a blazer. That would be a nice addition to the wide receiver corps we have right now.”
Jackson was released amid reports of a rift with Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, questions about his work ethic and concerns about the company he keeps off the field.
Hall said he wouldn’t have any worries about whether he Jackson would be a fit in the Redskins’ locker room. In fact, Hall offered to mentor Jackson and “put him on the right path.”
“Not at all,” Hall said. “I feel like our locker room has a good group of young guys, a good group of old guys, man. Some of the things he’s been going through lately, that’s life. That’s life. We’ve all been through something, so …if he’s able to come here, man, I’m going to take him under my wing and just try to put him on the right path.”
A source told CSNWashington.com earlier Saturday that the Redskins indeed had interest in Jackson. NBC-4's Dianna Russini later reported that Jackson is scheduled to visit Ashburn on Monday.