The Washington Redskins have agreed to terms with free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson. This was certainly a major move by the Redskins to land not only one of the top free agents on the market, but also one of the top wide receivers in the game. And this move impacts the team in a number of ways.
First, it upgrades a wide receiving unit that lacked a consistent deep threat. Pierre Garcon emerged as a top receiver in his own right last season with a record-breaking performance. But I think one of the major reasons Garcon was targeted so often, was because of a lack of other receiving threats around him.
But now with Jackson in the mix, the Redskins have not only one, but two number one caliber receivers for quarterback Robert Griffin III to throw to. Especially on deep routes. The Redskins haven’t had a consistent deep threat in years, and Jackson gives them one of the most dangerous speed receivers in the game.
And that speed will open things up dramatically for the Redskins offense. Especially in short and intermediate routes. The Redskins also signed free agent receiver Andre Roberts, and he can be used out wide and also in the slot. Tight end Jordan Reed should also benefit from Jackson’s presence as safeties will have to focus more attention outside.
The running game will also be helped. As the Redskins can employ more multiple receiver looks, forcing defenses to have to spread out more, thus creating more running room for Alfred Morris. Robert Griffin III will also benefit greatly from DeSean Jackson’s presence.
Not only as a deep ball option, but also by giving RGIII more options as a passer and less as a runner. Meaning with more targets in the passing game, Griffin won’t needed to put his body on the line as much as a runner. And a healthy Robert Griffin III will enable him to mature more as a passer.
So by signing DeSean Jackson the Redskins have transformed overnight from being a plodding run first offense, to one having the ability to attack defenses in multiple ways and at multiple speeds. It will be interesting to see how Jay Gruden will utilize all of the weapons he now has at his disposal.