signed DeSean Jackson
(left) to a three-year, $24 million deal in early April. (Carlos M. Saavedra/SI)
It appears that the Washington Redskins chose not to linger on the past when they signed wide receiver DeSean Jackson, wiping clean a slate that includes the suggested gang ties and locker room antics that may have expedited Jackson's release by the Philadelphia Eagles. Those rumors and the rest of the alleged red flags that followed Jackson out of Philadelphia are off the table for first-year head coach Jay Gruden in Washington.
Speaking at Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Society golf tournament on Sunday, Gruden expressed confidence in Jackson's ability to fit in with the team and didn't feel as if he'd be a distraction moving forward, according to ESPN's John Keim.
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“I don’t know about any red flags,” Gruden said. “I know he’s a great football player. We met him, I felt great about his character. Time will tell, but I don’t foresee any challenges in that regard. He’s a good player. He’s been productive. I think we’re excited to have him and anything off the field, we’re not concerned about. We’re counting on DeSean as a player and person moving forward that he’s going to be a fit in the locker room and obviously be a great asset off the field.”
At the same event, general manager Bruce Allen said the team did its due diligence on Jackson and cited the wideout's desire "to be great in the NFL" as a reason the Redskins decided to bring him in.
Jackson is one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL and hasn't found himself in any serious trouble during his six-year career, but it does seem as if Redskins management is treading lightly around the issues that accompanied the big-ticket acquisition's exit from his previous team.