NFL rumors are swirling that a pair of Washington Redskins wide receivers — DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon — will test the free agent waters this offseason, according to multiple reports.
DeSean Jackson could be the most likely Washington Redskins wide receiver to leave via free agency, according to Bleacher Report. The Philadelphia Eagles could be the team DeSean Jackson leaves his current team for, returning to the NFC East rival for a second time in his career. ESPN football insider Adam Schefter first reported the move back in December.
“It’s just so logical. With Philadelphia, the biggest need is at wide receiver. With DeSean becoming a free agent and with him having as much respect for [Eagles head coach] Doug Pederson as he does, every element that you can think of is in place there.”
DeSean Jackson indicated in a recent interview with the Washington Redskins senior writer and content coordinator Stephen Czarda that he would like to return. But the value of the contract and overall package may be the deciding factor in what team DeSean Jackson suits up for next season.
“I do want to still be here. My family and my house, I have everything here and I don’t want to be in a transaction and move… But once again this is a business so things happen. I’m just really excited about the opportunity I have to sit and now the ball’s in my corner a little bit and see what we can do… Ready to just sit back and whatever offers come in but obviously like I said I do want to be here.”
Earlier this year, Bleacher Report focused on whether Pierre Garcon or DeSean Jackson would leave during the offseason. While DeSean Jackson is a popular choice among fans for his deep-threat ability, Pierre Garcon might be the better option to retain, according to the article. Since 2012 — when Pierre Garcon first came to town — the wide receiver has failed to miss a game, hauling in at least 68 receptions and 750 yards during each season.
Pierre Garcon also wants to remain in Washington, a fact that should delight Redskins fans. The popular wide receiver told a local radio station that he can be a go-to wide receiver that can both keep the chains moving downfield while also being a serious deep threat — a role DeSean Jackson currently fills.
“I definitely want to be in Washington. I’m already living there. And I definitely want people to stop thinking that I’m a possession receiver because they gave me a job to do. That doesn’t mean I can’t go deep and I can’t run fast, because I ran fast and went deep this year more than I probably ever did.”
The Washington Post reported that none of the Redskins’ potential free agents have held formal discussions with the team. Those meetings for DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, tight end Vernon Davis, and quarterback Kirk Cousins are scheduled for this week, according to the article. Instead, the team will focus its time on scouting and evaluating prospects at this week’s NFL Combine.
The Washington Redskins had the same timeline last year when it approached free agency, closing several contracts prior to the start of the negotiations window. The Washington Post reported that Pierre Garcon — and not DeSean Jackson — appears to be the top target for the wide receiver position this offseason.
“The Redskins are believed to have a stronger desire to retain Garcon’s services, people familiar with the situation have said. However, team officials seem lukewarm on Jackson, and aren’t expected to be able to afford to re-sign both because they’re each expected to command contracts that will pay them in the neighborhood of $9 million to $11 million per year.”
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