There was a report last week that the Redskins are going to pursue a top free agent wide receiver in free agency. We probably didn’t need unidentified sources in the organization to tell us that. The Redskins have been weak and inconsistent at receiver for the most part since Art Monk and Gary Clark left in the early 1990’s.
After the franchise tag took its toll on the crop of wide receivers hitting the market on Tuesday, the two best players left on the market at the position are Vincent Jackson of the Chargers and Marques Colston of the Saints. Let’s stack one up against the other and see who might be a better fit.
Tale of the tape
Vincent Jackson: Age 29 (DOB 1/14/83), 6-5, 241, 2005 second-round pick of Chargers out of Northern Colorado. Seven NFL seasons, all with San Diego. Career stats:
Marques Colston: Age 28 (DOB 6/5/83), 6-4, 225, 2006 seventh-round pick by the Saints out of Hofstra. Six NFL seasons all with New Orleans. Career stats:
Both receivers will be 29 by the time the season starts so there is no real difference in age. Jackson is slightly bigger but Colston certainly is big enough. Jackson has two essentially wasted seasons, his rookie year and 2010 when he sat out most of the season in a contract dispute. Colston has been consistent all of his six years and has significantly better career totals as a result. The big number in Jackson’s favor is his career average of 17.5 yards per catch. The Redskins need a big-play receiver and while Colston certainly can get yards in chunks, Jackson does so more consistently.
Both have red flags. After the 2009 season Colston had microfracture surgery on his left knee. Then prior to last season he had microfracture on his right knee. He also had wrist surgery about a year ago. The microfracture surgery is not the career killer it once was but one on each knee in the past two years certainly is cause for concern.
Jackson pleaded guilty to DUI cases that occurred in 2006 and 2009. He was suspended for four games in 2010 and, like the Redskins’ Fred Davis and Trent Williams, he faces a full season suspension if he commits another violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Both played for top-notch quarterbacks in pass-happy systems so there is no reason to discount the stats of either compared to each other.
They both will command a lot of money. Both are going for their big career payday and the size of the paycheck could well be the major deciding factor for them.