As soon as DeSean Jackson got released by the Eagles, the Redskins were “all systems go” in their attempt to sign him, according to head coach Jay Gruden.
“He got released by Philadelphia, and as soon as that happened, it was, ‘Wow,’ for us,” Gruden said Monday in an interview with The SiriusXM Blitz. “Because obviously people around here have played against him a couple of times a year. Guys like that don’t come around very often and when they do, you have to do your due diligence, and you have to do whatever it takes to get the guy if you think he’s a fit. And we felt like he was a fit for us. So Bruce Allen [was] all systems go and made a play for him and [it] ended up working out to get him.”
Indeed, the Redskins moved quickly and decisively in their pursuit of Jackson. Within 24 hours of his release, the team had arranged for Jackson to visit Redskins Park. Two days after that, he was on a flight from Los Angeles to Washington.
And the Redskins didn’t let him leave until an agreement was in place.
“That was tough,” Gruden said of keeping Jackson from visiting other teams. “Bruce did some work. [Jackson’s] agent [Joel Segal] and [Allen], they went at it. I’m sure there was some talk about him going to [visit] other teams, [but] Bruce and DeSean’s agent hashed out a deal and DeSean agreed to it.”
Gruden also praised the team effort that was required to persuade Jackson to sign in Washington.
“I think a lot of it had to do with the recruitment process with DeAngelo Hall and Robert Griffin,” Gruden said. “[They] did a nice job convincing him that D.C. was the place to be, and I think what he liked what he heard from the staff here also. When it was all said and done, I thought the financial package was fair for him, in his mind, and he was anxious to sign and move forward with his football career. And also [having] the opportunity to play the Eagles twice didn’t hurt any.”