After spending the majority of his career as a reserve, Rob Jackson hoped his increased production the past two seasons would help him land a starting job in free agency.
It didn’t happen. The Raiders and Texans showed interest, Jackson said, but they saw him as backup.
So Jackson decided to stick with what he knew and he re-signed with the Redskins last Friday. The 28-year-old outside linebacker, who has spent his entire six-year career in Washington, inked a one-year deal for $795,000.
“Everybody was pretty much was saying the same thing—Oakland, Houston—nobody was really talking about me being starter or doing anything different,” Jackson told Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan. “So I figured why go somewhere else and do the same thing when I can come back here?”
He added: “I’m familiar with the defense, familiar with the guys, a few of the coaches. So I figured it was a good idea to come back here.”
Jackson enjoyed a breakout year in 2012, starting 14 games for the injured Brian Orakpo. And the increased playing time resulted in increased production as he finished with 4.5 sacks, four interceptions and two forced fumbles.
But he couldn’t maintain the momentum. Orakpo returned in 2013 and Jackson was suspended for the first four games after testing positive for a banned substance that he later explained was an unprescribed pain medication. As a result, he finished with two sacks and an interception in 12 contests.
Although a starting job eluded him this offseason, Jackson said he'll only use the disappointment as fuel.
“I wouldn’t say frustrated,” he said. “It makes me a lot more hungry. It makes me capitalize on the playing time I do get.”