By Rich Tandler
One of the more frequently asked questions I get on Twitter is about the possibility of Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, slated to be a free agent in March, becoming a Redskin. For three of the past four years, Jackson has been one of the most productive receivers in the game, gaining over 1000 yards receiving in 2008, 2009, and 2011. For his seven-year career he has averaged 17.5 yards per catch. Such numbers would easily make Jackson the Redskins’ premiere receiver. He will be playing for the AFC in the Pro Bowl today.
In addition, Mike Shanahan knows Jackson’s abilities well, having coached against him. But there are many obstacles in the way of putting Jackson into a burgundy and gold uniform.
For one, word is that he wants to stay in San Diego and the Chargers definitely want him back. “The way he performed this year speaks to how valuable he is to our team,” Chargers coach Norv Turner told Dan Pompei of the National Footbal Post. “From a coaching standpoint, I’d love to have him here. When you look at his production, his average per catch separates him from a lot of guys. “
Considering that Turner and general manager A. J. Smith both barely held onto their jobs earlier this month, they would be wise to do what they can do to keep Jackson in the fold. They could hit him with the franchise tag although that would cost them something in the neighborhood of $15 million.
Even if Jackson and the Chargers part ways, there is the matter of his age. He turned 29 earlier this month and receivers at that age are rarely good values in free agency. In addition, he served a three-game suspension for running afoul of the league’s personal conduct policy. Another violation could have the commissioner putting him on a longer suspension. With Trent Williams and, if he re-signs, Fred Davis already facing the possibility of getting sent home for a year the risk of having three key offensive players working under such a cloud my be too great to bear.
Jackson is fun to watch and he plays hard but it appears that Redskins fans will have to admire him from afar.