The NFL recently reinstated Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson after two seasons on suspension due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Having Jackson back can only help the Redskins with their depth at safety, but how much of help can Jackson be?
The Redskins looked to free agency to not only improve the talent level at safety, but signing former Redskin Ryan Clark, and he should add some experience and leadership in the defensive backfield. But Tanard Jackson hasn’t played in over two seasons, so it remains to be seen exactly what he can contribute.
Last years starter Brandon Meriweather was resigned, and the Redskins are looking for 2013 draft pick Phillip Thomas to make an impact at safety as well. So at this point I doubt the Redskins will be expecting too much from Tanard Jackson. If nothing else, he can compete for a spot on the two deep and add to the special teams.
Jackson is still only 28 years old, so it’s conceivable that he still has some gas left in the tank. But the Redskins have to be prepared for the possibility that he might be suspended again. So if a prospect like Northern Illinois’ Jimmie Ward is available in the draft, I doubt Jackson’s presence would stop the Redskins from considering taking him.