Grading The Washington Redskins Free Agent Departures So Far
Letting DeSean Jackson Walk For Three Years, $33.5 Million
Despite getting a much shorter deal than Garcon, DeSean Jackson was actually given the same amount of guaranteed money. Jackson’s deal gives him $20 million in guarantees, and that is a bit of a risky proposition for the Buccaneers.
When healthy, Jackson can do a lot for an offense. His speed can scare opposing teams and open up the field for other playmakers. In Tampa Bay, Jackson will be operating as a No. 2 receiver across from Mike Evans, which figures to make him a more effectively player. The tandem should have success, but there are a couple of potential pitfalls.
The first is that Jackson has had some injury troubles in the past. He has only played a full 16 game season twice in his career, and sometimes plays a little bit nicked up. The bigger issue though is how Jackson’s game is constructed.
Because Jackson is a speed receiver, there is no telling when he will decline. Speed and athleticism are often the first areas that players regress in once they get older, and there is no way of knowing when that will be. Jackson is only on a three year deal, but he will turn 31 during the 2017 season. If he slows down at any point, his route running is not good enough to make him a viable threat. For that reason, he could end up becoming a sunk cost.
This is not to say that Jackson is a bad player. It is just that there is a lot of risk in the contract. Because of that, I think the Redskins were right to let him walk and to allow Josh Doctson a wide open chance to break into the starting lineup.