DeSean Jackson, Daniel Snyder union will be a disaster

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DeSean Jackson, Daniel Snyder union will be a disaster

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.

NFL Notes: Rams' All-Pro Aaron Donald skips OTAs amid contract talks

NFL Notes: Rams' All-Pro Aaron Donald skips OTAs amid contract talks

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald has skipped the Los Angeles Rams' first day of organized team activities while he negotiates a long-term contract extension with the club.

Rams general manager Les Snead says the team knew Donald wouldn't be at their training complex Monday.

Snead acknowledged Donald's absence is because of their contract negotiations, which are reaching "the serious part." The GM is confident Donald will be a long-term fixture on the Rams' line.

The Rams exercised their fifth-year option for 2018 on Donald last month. He will make nearly $7 million next year. Snead has repeatedly said the Rams plan to sign Donald to a long-term deal.

Donald is a three-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro in his three-year career.

Vikings: Zimmer takes time off after latest eye surgery
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer finally relented, taking some time away from the team to allow his right eye a proper recovery from his latest surgery.

Better in the spring than during the fall, he realized.

As Zimmer departed Monday for some rest and relaxation at his vacation ranch in rural Kentucky, general manager Rick Spielman said the organization anticipates a return by Zimmer "in a few weeks." Players will take the field Tuesday for the first of 13 scheduled offseason practices, including the three-day mandatory minicamp that runs June 13-15.

"We all agree Mike's health is the priority, and we believe rest and recovery are in his best interest for the long term," Spielman said.

Zimmer directed a free youth football camp Saturday at team headquarters. He revealed to reporters that he underwent an eighth procedure on the eye last week, a trying seven-month stretch that has included several unplanned operations (see full story).

Jets: Former 2nd-round pick Smith waived
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Wide receiver Devin Smith has been waived from the injury list by the New York Jets.

A second-round draft pick from Ohio State in 2015, Smith rarely saw the field for the Jets. He tore his ACL during the offseason workout program after he appeared in four games last season. He started that season on the physically unable to perform list while rehabbing from another ACL tear suffered in December 2015.

If Smith clears waivers, he would revert to the Jets' injured reserve list.

"It's bad luck and bad timing because the kid worked so hard to get back," coach Todd Bowles said last month during the NFL draft. "He has to persevere and adversity will help him get stronger. But unfortunately in this game, over my course of time playing and coaching, you see these types of things. Some of the best athletes get hurt and don't get a chance to get on the field, and it's just bad timing, bad luck."

The Jets also re-signed wide receiver WR Deshon Foxx on Monday. Foxx originally signed with the Jets in January and was waived May 9. The Connecticut product first signed with Seattle 2015 after going undrafted and was waived/injured with a hamstring injury that August.

Buccaneers: TE Howard signs rookie deal
TAMPA, Fla. -- Tight end O.J. Howard has signed his rookie contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Howard, who was the 19th overall pick in last month's NFL draft, signed a four-year deal on Monday that includes a team option for a fifth season. He is the first of Tampa Bay's six draft picks to sign.

Howard, who is 6-foot-6 and 251 pounds, was a third-team Associated Press All-America selection last season. He started 12 of Alabama's 14 games last season and had 45 receptions for 595 yards and three touchdowns.

The drafting of Howard and signing DeSean Jackson in free agency should give Jameis Winston more options in Tampa Bay's passing game.

The Buccaneers also announced that defensive end Jacquies Smith has signed his restricted free agent tender.

Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

For the most part, Carson Wentz had a pretty successful rookie season. 

Sure, the Eagles finished with a 7-9 record, but Wentz did enough to continue the franchise's belief that he is indeed the quarterback of the future. 

Another guy in Dallas did the same thing with the Cowboys. Actually, Dak Prescott had an even more impressive rookie season, leading the Cowboys to 13 wins, while winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. 

Prescott, a fourth-round pick, had a great year but didn't try to do too much. And that's what impressed Eagles head coach Doug Pederson the most. 

"[Prescott] understood this right away, that he didn't have to win the game for them," Pederson said on The Doomsday Podcast, hosted by Matt Mosley and Ed Werder. (Pederson also talked about running the Rocky steps). "He knew that he had a good defense, a tremendous offensive line, a great runner, he had some veteran players that he could rely on and he learned that early. As soon as he had the opportunity to play and that was early, from Day 1. 

"That's something that a young quarterback, sometimes it takes them a while to figure out the game that way. That's the impressive thing, that he learned how to handle that business that well, utilize the people around him and understand that he didn't have to go win the game."

While Prescott had plenty of help during his rookie season, it was pretty evident Wentz was lacking in that area. 

Prescott had a great offensive line, Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliott and others. Wentz had an offensive line that was missing Lane Johnson, an often-injured Ryan Mathews and receivers like Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham playing serious snaps. 

So it made sense when the team went out this offseason and signed Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and recently LeGarrette Blount, as free agents, finally getting Wentz some real help. 

"We had opportunities to get those two guys and it was obvious last year, we were young at the wide receiver position," Pederson said. "We needed some leadership, some veteran presence there and we went out and got that with Torrey and Alshon. We still want to build through the draft, we still want to acquire young talent. 

"LeGarrette Blount now is a guy that gives us that big back, running back, that can come in and compete and hopefully he does everything he did at New England the last couple of seasons. He had 18 rushing touchdowns for over 1,000 yards and we just expect that same level of performance here."

Maybe having weapons will allow Wentz to do what made Prescott so impressive to Pederson in 2016: not too much.