Would locking up Jackson be good for the Redskins? They certainly could benefit from the presence of his receiving skills in the lineup. But you also have to wonder why the Eagles decided to let go of a 27-year-old player who is coming off of a career year. Would the good outweigh the potential bad? Redskins insiders Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir debate that question in this week’s edition of Point-Counterpoint.
Tandler: Sometimes opportunities fall into your lap and you have to seriously consider taking advantage of them. While the Redskins need to proceed with caution on a number of fronts in this case, they should try to get a deal with Jackson done. The Redskins invested heavily in Robert Griffin III and now they have a chance to invest in something to make their franchise quarterback more effective. Sure, he will be expensive but it’s a move they can make without crushing their salary cap. And it won’t cost them a draft pick, an important factor for a team without its first round selection (that was, of course, spent on Griffin). Are there potential pitfalls? Sure, and Tarik will outline them below. But adding Jackson, the deep threat that the offense is lacking, to Pierre Garçon, Andre Roberts, and Jordan Reed with Griffin pulling the trigger and Alfred Morris in the backfield could well be worth the potential downside. If they can come to a contract agreement that makes sense for both sides, the Redskins need to grab the opportunity.
El-Bashir: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. In everyday life and in NFL free agency. I completely understand why fans and even DeAngelo Hall are all giddy about the prospect of adding a three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver to an offense that already boasts a promising young core. But each time I think about Jackson sporting a burgundy and gold jersey, I return to the same three questions: Why did Eagles Coach Chip Kelly cut an electrifying, game-changing talent like Jackson? Why did at least one teammate hint that Jackson won’t be missed? And -- this is the one that really concerns me -- is there more to the story? Even if the allegations of gang connections are exaggerated (or completely false, as Jackson says), there are other red flags that should give the Redskins pause. Remember Jackson’s holdout in 2011? Or the time Jackson acknowledged he didn’t always play his hardest? Or the time he overslept, missed a meeting and was suspended by Andy Reid for a game? Or his blowup on the sideline last season that required teammates to separate him from his position coach? Or him saying in January that he wanted to renegotiate a $48 million contract that wasn't quite two years old? And those are just examples that I recalled off the top of my head. In the end, the Eagles decided Jackson’s propensity for drama outweighed his considerable contributions on the field. Why should the Redskins expect that he'll change?