Daniel Snyder got his man. Daniel Snyder has gotten his man in the past. It has rarely gone well for Daniel Snyder.
DeSean Jackson signed with Washington on Tuesday (see story). It’s said to be a three-year deal for $24 million, with $16 million guaranteed, according to Forbes.
Isn’t it grand? As landing spots go for the former Eagle, you couldn’t pick a more dysfunctional destination than Washington.
Yes, Jackson is coming off a season in which he had a career-best 1,332 receiving yards, tied a personal best with nine touchdowns and made his third Pro Bowl. And, yes, the Eagles will face him twice a year in what’s sure to be must-watch, drama-filed matchups. But, come on, he went to Washington. That has to assuage any fears from the woe-is-the-put-upon-fan/the-Eagles-will-rue-the-day crowd. Shy of signing with the Oakland Raiders or the Saskatchewan Roughriders (that’s a real team! Sort of!), it’s hard to imagine an organization that could render Jackson more inert than Washington.
Between Jackson’s bloated contract and his off-field concerns, it wasn’t surprising that the Eagles moved on. It also wasn’t surprising that Jackson’s first and last free-agent stop -- the lack of any real market for him was telling -- was Washington, where he immediately fell in with some Redskins players. And Wale. It’s the perfect union. And it’s almost certainly doomed.
Under Daniel Snyder, Washington has become the football equivalent of Goodwill. All the other teams drop off their unwanted goods. The only shock here is that the Eagles didn’t ask the Redskins for a receipt so they can use Jackson as a tax write-off next year.
Despite being a very rich man, Snyder has never been a savvy decision maker with his football team. He’s the NFL’s anti-Midas. A quick and schadenfreude-filled review of Snyder’s many, many (there are many) ill-advised and hilarious decisions over the years:
In 2000, Washington gave aging Bruce Smith a five-year, $23-million deal. (Keep in mind, per the norm in the NFL, that not all of the contract money outlined here was guaranteed.) Smith played four years with the Redskins. He had double-digit sacks just once.
Also in 2000, Washington signed Jeff George (four years, $18.5 million) and Deion Sanders (seven years, $56 million). George played eight games in two years and then retired. Sanders lasted one season before finishing his career with the Ravens.
In 2002, Snyder threw a five-year, $25 million contract at Steve Spurrier to get him to leave college. Spurrier went 12-20 in two seasons, then quit and went back to college.
In 2003, Laveranues Coles got five years and $35 million. He lasted two seasons.
In 2004, Mark Brunell signed for seven years and $43 million. He started just nine games in two of his three seasons, and he never had a QB rating higher than 86.5 for the Redskins.
In 2006, Antwaan Randle El got a contract for seven years and $31 million. That’s an awful lot for a guy who was always more of a punt returner than a receiver. He played four years in Washington.
But Snyder and the Redskins really outdid themselves in 2009 when they signed Albert Haynesworth for seven years and $100 million. Haynesworth recorded just 6½ sacks over two years before the Redskins traded him. He even failed a conditioning test in Washington. Which was awesome.
Oh, and Snyder OK’d a trade for Donovan McNabb.
Washington isn’t a football team. It’s the Island of Misfit Toys.
And if you think Jackson has gotten some bad press recently, it’s nothing compared to the kind of ink Snyder gets. It’s part of the reason why Jackson will fit right in with Snyder. They can compare clips and assure each other that they’re misunderstood.
Here’s a long list of things for which Snyder has been criticized over the years. Among the owner’s many, many (there are many) curious and/or detestable acts: He charged fans to attend training camp. He sued ticketholders. He filed a ridiculous libel lawsuit. And during the debate over the team’s offensive moniker, he told USA Today the team will “never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”
If that sounds like a stable work environment where Jackson is sure to thrive and make the Eagles regret their decision to release him, you must work some place that’s really scary. It was so bad in Washington that Shanahan, who isn’t exactly warm or fuzzy or fun, said Snyder meddled with his team by getting too close with Robert Griffin III. That probably sounds familiar to Washington fans. Former coach Joe Gibbs once called Clinton Portis, who was tight with Snyder, the team’s “assistant general manager.”
That’s good news for Jackson. He can be Snyder’s new guy. Which is good news for the Eagles and their fans.