The Eagles won’t be seeing DeSean Jackson on the field every day, but they’re not completely rid of the Pro Bowl wideout.
Jackson has agreed to join the Washington Redskins, meaning he’ll suit up against his old team twice in 2014, once at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., and once at the Linc, which will be one of the most anticipated games of next season. According to multiple reports, first by Forbes' Darren Heitner, the deal is for three years and $24 million, including $16 million guaranteed.
Jackson, entering his seventh season and coming off his third Pro Bowl year, will join Washington just days after the Eagles outright released him two years into a five-year, $51-million contract extension.
Instead of catching deep balls from Nick Foles, Jackson will connect with Robert Griffin III and join a receiving cast that also includes 1,000-yard receiver Pierre Garcon, slot wideout Andre Roberts and second-year tight end Jordan Reed.
His new head coach is first-year coach Jay Gruden, younger brother of Jon Gruden, and his offensive coordinator is Sean McVay.
The Redskins, who won the division in 2012, finished 3-13 this past season but don’t have a first-round pick. Their No. 2 pick goes to the Rams as part of the 2012 trade to move up in the draft and select Griffin.
Jackson’s abrupt release sent shockwaves throughout the Delaware Valley despite weeks of reports and speculation that the organization was looking to move on from him and telltale silence coming from the NovaCare Complex.
The team had tried to trade Jackson but eventually cut the cord less than an hour after an NJ.com report detailed Jackson’s associations with alleged gang members. Jackson was supposed to make more than $10 million this season and had been signed through 2016.
It makes sense for the Redskins to add the 27-year-old wideout who last year racked up a career-best 1,332 receiving yards and tied a personal best with nine touchdown catches. Jackson’s five career receiving touchdowns against Washington are his most against any NFL team, including an 88-yarder on Nov. 15, 2010. He also has a rushing touchdown and punt-return touchdown against the Redskins.
The Eagles have stayed quiet since cutting ties with their 2008 second-round pick except for a cursory, one-sentence statement on the day of the transaction. On Tuesday they removed the gigantic banner resembling Jackson from the Linc (see The 700 Level post).
Jackson’s return to Philadelphia will be as big of a storyline as last year’s homecoming for former coach Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb’s return to the Linc in 2010 after the Eagles traded him to the Redskins during the offseason. McNabb and Reid were each victorious in those games.
The NFL regular-season schedule is expected to be announced later this month.