Team Report - WASHINGTON REDSKINS

The SportsXchange

INSIDE SLANT

It took just a little more than four days for wide receiver DeSean Jackson to find a new home in the same division where he's played since being a second-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008.

Late Tuesday night (April 1), agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the Washington Redskins and he signed the contract the next morning.

The contract is technically for four years and is worth $32, but the final year will void if he on the Redskins roster five days after the 2016 season Super Bowl. With the void, the total value is $24 million over three years with $16 million guaranteed.

"I'm happy about the situation I'm in here. At the end of the day, it's all about winning in the NFL," Jackson said during a conference call Wednesday.

Jackson will receive a $5 million signing bonus. Part of the guaranteed $16 million is $6.25 million in workout bonuses and per-game roster bonuses in 2014 and 2015. His base salaries of $1 million in 2014 and $3.75 million in 2015 are also guaranteed. The salary-cap charge is $4.25 million this year.

"We're excited to have him," head coach Jay Gruden said in a statement. "Any time you have an opportunity to get a splash player like DeSean Jackson, you have to do your best to get him. Fortunately (general manager) Bruce Allen and (owner) Dan Snyder got it done, but we're excited to have the competitor and the player of DeSean's caliber."

Jackson visited Robert Griffin III in Los Angeles last weekend before flying to Washington to meet with Gruden, Allen and other team personnel. His two-day tour included a night on the town with cornerback DeAngelo Hall and wide receiver Pierre Garcon.

"I think first off, I feel they embraced me as far as RGIII; Hall reached out to me and made it feel like it was home for me here," Jackson said. "After everything that was going on the past couple days and the last week, that's a big step and first move for me. I think DeAngelo Hall really stepped up to the plate and you know called me and just said, 'Look bro, I know I've been playing against you for a long time, but this is a situation where I think if you came in here, I think you could help us out a lot.'

"I think this place right here is a great place and has some great things going on and I'm just happy to be an addition to help this team win."

The Redskins also included in the team statement reaction from Jackson's new teammates.

"We are all excited to have him join our team," Griffin said. "Our team and this city will be there for him. In talking with him, I understand his drive and his competitiveness to win -- always doing it for his dad and now doing it for this city."

"I'm excited to have another weapon. The guy is mad fast and I think, overall, it definitely helps the offense," running back Alfred Morris said.

"DeSean is a great player," Garcon told Redskins Nation. "He can help our offense, help our team. You know he's definitely going to open up things. We're going to make plays for each other and help get the ball into the end zone."

"He just brings another home run hitter that I'm very excited to play with. Any time you get a Pro Bowl caliber guy in free agency, I think it does a lot for the team," tackle Trent Williams said.

Jackson said Griffin was one of the major factors in his decision to sign with the Redskins.

"He's done a great job of embracing me," Jackson said of Griffin. "He called me as soon as he knew I was a free agent. Big part of me signing here."

Jackson was released by the Philadelphia Eagles March 28. The Redskins were the first team to schedule a visit. No other visits were announced, but reports percolated Tuesday -- just as Jackson's agent, Joel Segal, said negotiations with Washington were soon to begin -- that the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and other teams were hoping to have an audience with Jackson.

The Eagles released Jackson just two years after he signed a five-year contract extension worth $48 million. The three-time Pro Bowler was due to make $10.5 million in 2014 and was owed $30.5 million over the remainder of his contract, but none of that money was guaranteed. The Eagles re-signed unrestricted free agents Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin in March, clearing the way for Jackson to be cut. Head coach Chip Kelly also said multiple times the Eagles view the 2014 draft class as being "very deep" at wide receiver.

"Like I said before, it was a humbling experience for myself, me being at the peak of my career and doing some great things in this league the first six years, this going on my seventh year," Jackson said of being released. "I think I'm very humbled for me to be where I'm at and for me to be able to be released like that. But at the same time, I feel moving forward is the best for me and it's the best for ahead of me as well being added to the Redskins and being able to come to a team where they just won the division the previous year."

The 27-year-old Jackson (5-10, 175) was originally selected by the Eagles in the second round (49th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. He has appeared in 87 regular-season games with 86 starts, compiling 7,813 all-purpose yards and 39 total touchdowns, all with Philadelphia from 2008-13.

For his career, the three-time Pro Bowler has amassed 356 receptions for 6,117 yards (17.2 average) with 32 receiving touchdowns and 57 rushing attempts for 373 yards (6.5 average) and three rushing touchdowns. He has also returned 131 punts for 1,294 yards (9.9 average) with four touchdowns and has added 29 yards on four kickoff returns.

Last season, Jackson started all 16 regular-season games for Philadelphia for the first time in his career and also started his sixth career postseason game. During the regular season, Jackson posted career highs in receptions (82) and receiving yards (1,332) and matched his career high with nine receiving touchdowns en route to his third career Pro Bowl selection -- his first since making consecutive Pro Bowl appearances after the 2009-10 seasons.

--Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, under growing pressure to change the franchise's nickname, said Monday he will start a foundation designed to help Native Americans.

Snyder sent a letter to Redskins fans Monday night that detailed his plans for the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation. Snyder said the foundation is a result from four months of visiting tribal reservations across the country.

Snyder said the team took a survey of tribes from 100 reservations, trying to gauge their most pressing needs.

The Redskins' nickname was first adopted in 1933 when the team was still in Boston.

Some Native American leaders escalated their fight to get them to change the team name, applying public pressure through pickets and media attention.

"The more I heard, the more I've learned, and the more I saw, the more resolved I became about helping to address the challenges that plague the Native American community," Snyder's letter stated in part. "In speaking face-to-face with Native American leaders and community members, it's plain to see they need action, not words."

The letter said the foundation will be led by Gary Edwards, who is a Cherokee and retired deputy assistant director of the United States Secret Service. The letter states Edwards is founder and chief executive officer of the National Native American Law Enforcement Association.

Snyder last year sent a letter to season-ticket holders stating his reasoning for wanting to keep the team's name despite President Obama and other public officials suggesting that it is time to discard a term that some consider offensive.

"I've listened carefully to the commentary and perspectives on all sides, and I respect the feelings of those who are offended by the team name," Snyder wrote to fans at the time. "But I hope such individuals also try to respect what the name means, not only for all of us in the extended Washington Redskins family, but among Native Americans too."

After Snyder's announcement, one response came from the Oneida Indian Nation, which opposes the continued use of the nickname.

Oneida representative Ray Halbritter said, "We're glad that after a decade of owning the Washington team, Mr. Snyder is finally interested in Native American heritage, and we are hopeful that when his team finally stands on the right side of history and changes its name, he will honor the commitments to Native Americans that he is making.

"We are also hopeful that in his new initiative to honor Native Americans' struggle, Mr. Snyder makes sure people do not forget that he and his predecessor George Preston Marshall, a famous segregationist, have made our people's lives so much more difficult by using a racial slur as the Washington team's name."

NOTES, QUOTES

--The NFL announced each team's preseason schedule without precise dates or times, except for national TV games and the final preseason week in which all games will be on Thurs. Aug. 28. Week 1 games are Aug. 7-10, Week 2 Aug. 14-18 and Week 3 Aug. 21-24.

The Redskins will play at home against New England in Week 1 and Cleveland in Week 2, while going on the road to play Baltimore in Week 3 and Tampa Bay in Week 4. The game against the Browns will be at 8 p.m. Eastern time Monday, Aug. 18 on ESPN.

--Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo signed his one-year, $11.455 million franchise tender for the 2014 season.

"He's a talented player. I think he can do a little bit better," first-year coach Jay Gruden said Tuesday in Orlando. "(We) can ask more of him where he could be more productive as far as getting his hand down and rushing more instead of dropping (into pass coverage) quite so much. We have high hopes for Brian and whether the (long-term) deal gets done or not, we know he'll be a big part of our success (in 2014)."

Gruden said the Redskins would like to keep Orakpo for "as many years as we can." Orakpo has 39.5 sacks in 64 career games.

Unable to reach a long-term contract agreement in February, Orakpo was designated a franchise player, one of six potential free agents who were tagged before the deadline. The two sides can continue negotiations toward a long-term deal until July 15.

The two-time (2009, 2010) Pro-Bowl outside linebacker needs just 4.5 more sacks to move into third place in Redskins history behind Dexter Manley (91) and Charles Mann (82).

Orakpo, the 13th overall selection in the 2009 draft, approached the offseason with an eye toward free agency.

"I had a great time being a part of the Redskins and I want to continue it but who knows, man," said the 27-year-old Orakpo, who bounced back from a torn pectoral muscle that ended his 2012 season in Week 2, to lead Washington with 10 sacks in 2013. "It's not too many times you can be an unrestricted free agent. You've got to sometimes take advantage of that."

The Redskins signed defensive lineman Jason Hatcher away from the Dallas Cowboys and Gruden said the 2014 scheme will stress getting pressure on the quarterback. That was at the root of the decision to use the franchise marker to keep Orakpo from finding greener pastures.

"Pass-rushers don't grow on trees, and at the time we weren't sure what pass-rushers would be available," Gruden said. "There was still a chance for Seattle to franchise (Michael) Bennett. So we thought it was very important to take care of one of our own who we groomed and coached up, and we're happy with Brian."

--ILB Perry Riley, Jr. hasn't missed a game since taking over as a starter midway through 2011, his second season. Riley, the Redskins' top re-signing priority, has improved in pass coverage and surpassed four-time Pro Bowl pick London Fletcher as Washington's top tackler last year. Not nearly as vocal as Fletcher, Riley's importance to coordinator Jim Haslett's defense is magnified by Fletcher's retirement.

Less than six hours before he could have become a free agent, the Redskins announced that they has re-signed Riley. The contract is reportedly for $13 million over three years.

Riley tweeted his excitement, "It feels great to still be a part of Redskin Nation!!!!! #HTTR"

--Defensive end Chris Baker, who played in 15 games last season and started the final three, opted not to become an unrestricted free agent, signing a three-year, $9 million contract on Feb. 27.

The 26-year-old Baker, who has played 29 of his 31 career games with Washington, finished last season as the starter at right end after Stephen Bowen was injured and former starter Kedric Golston was benched. The squatty 6-2, 333-pound Baker as credited with 16 tackles and a sack.

"#swaggytime I'm Back #httr," "So happy that I'm still a #Redskin GOD IS GOOD," and "Feed me Qbs I'm hungry" were among Baker's tweets the day he re-signed.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

The Redskins re-signed unrestricted free-agent cornerback E.J. Biggers.

Biggers, 26, appeared in all 16 games for the Redskins last season, including five starts. The former Western Michigan star was a versatile defensive back during his first season in Washington, lining up inside and outside at cornerback and even seeing time at free safety. Biggers finished the season with 35 tackles and one interception.

The 6-foot, 185-pound Biggers will compete for playing time behind projected starters DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson, with free-agent addition Tracy Porter expected to play the nickel role.

The Redskins also have Richard Crawford working his way back from knee surgery that sidelined him all of last season.

"Whatever they need, I'll be ready," Biggers said.

TEAM NEEDS

--SAFETY: Brandon Meriweather couldn't stay healthy in 2012 and wasn't the expected playmaker in 2013. Reed Doughty is more of a special-teamer but started 45 games the past two years because of others' injuries and/or incompetence. Free-agent addition Ryan Clark could help, but he will be 35 in October.

--INSIDE LINEBACKER: London Fletcher retired after his 16th season, leaving a glaring vacancy next to Perry Riley Jr. Akeem Jordan was signed, but they are likely to add more.

--OFFENSIVE LINE: Trent Williams was picked for the last two Pro Bowls, but none of the other regulars is anything special so the Redskins could replace any of them, particularly right tackle Tyler Polumbus.

PERSONNEL TRACKER

FRANCHISE PLAYER: LB Brian Orakpo (tendered at $11.455M; signed tender March 27).

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

--WR Dezmon Briscoe (not tendered as RFA) spent last season on injured reserve after contributing little in 2012. If he returns, it will be by default.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--ILB Nick Barnett signed with Washington just after training camp started. The former Green Bay and Buffalo starter saw some time as the season went on and London Fletcher showed his age, but he tore an ACL in the penultimate game against Dallas.

--TE Fred Davis was in line to be in Washington for years to come, but a marijuana suspension in 2011, a torn Achilles in 2012, a weak work ethic and an indefinite suspension last month means he's an ex-Redskin.

--S Reed Doughty has overachieved, lasting eight seasons after being picked in the sixth round in 2006. He shouldn't start again, but the hustler might be back depending on whether new special teams coach Ben Kotwica is a fan of his work in that area.

--QB Rex Grossman was a turnover machine as the starter in 2011 and didn't play in either of the past two years. With his buddy, former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan gone, Grossman will follow.

--ILB Bryan Kehl finished 2012 strong on special teams but he tore an ACL in Week 6 last season and could well be gone as he turns 30 in July.

--WR Josh Morgan arrived in 2012 from San Francisco with a plate and screws in a surgically repaired leg. Those were removed before last season, but he dropped from 48 catches and 510 yards to 20 catches and 214 yards. Morgan also faltered badly on returns, averaging just 19.9 yards on kickoffs and 7.4 on punts. By the end of the year, Morgan was so deep in coach Mike Shanahan's doghouse that he was deactivated. The D.C. native wants a do-over for coach Jay Gruden but is unlikely to get it.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

--WR Aldrick Robinson (tendered at $570,000).

--DE Doug Worthington (tendered at $570,000).

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

--NT Chris Baker: Potential UFA; $12M/3 yrs, $4M guaranteed.

--CB E.J. Biggers: UFA; terms unknown.

--S Jose Gumbs: Potential ERFA; $495,000/1 yr.

--CB DeAngelo Hall: Potential UFA; $17M/4 yrs, $3.25M SB/$5.65M guaranteed.

--LB Rob Jackson: UFA; terms unknown.

--S Brandon Meriweather: UFA; $1M/1 yr.

--WR Santana Moss: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--LB Brian Orakpo: FFA; $11.455M/1 yr.

--LB Perry Riley: Potential UFA; $13M/3 yrs.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--S Ryan Clark: UFA Steelers; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--DE Clifton Geathers: UFA Eagles; terms unknown.

--WR David Gettis: FA; $570,000/1 yr.

--DT Jason Hatcher: UFA Cowboys; $27.5M/4 yrs, $9M SB/$10.5M guaranteed.

--LB Adam Hayward: UFA Buccaneers; terms unknown.

--WR DeSean Jackson: FA Eagles; $32M/4 yrs, $5M SB/$16M guaranteed (final year voids five days after 2016 Super Bowl, making it $24M/3 yrs.

--LB Akeem Jordan: UFA Chiefs; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--C/G Kevin Kowalski: FA; $1.23M/2 yrs.

--G Shawn Lauvao: UFA Browns; $17M/4 yrs.

--QB Colt McCoy: UFA 49ers; terms unknown.

--G Mike McGlynn: UFA Colts; terms unknown.

--CB Tracy Porter: UFA Raiders; terms unknown.

--CB Ryan Mouton: FA; $645,000/1 yr.

--WR Andre Roberts: UFA Cardinals; $16M/4 yrs.

--ILB Darryl Sharpton: UFA Texans; terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

--WR Josh Bellamy (released).

--DE Adam Carriker (released/failed physical).

--LB London Fletcher (UFA/retired).

--LB Josh Hull (released).

--C Will Montgomery (released/failed physical).

--CB Ryan Mouton (released).

--P Sav Rocca (released).

--LB Darryl Tapp: UFA Lions; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--C J.D. Walton: UFA Giants; $5M/2 yrs, $1.25M SB/$3M guaranteed.

--CB Josh Wilson: UFA Falcons; 1 yr, terms unknown.

View Comments