The rumor mill is spinning with reports of released Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson negotiating a contract with the Washington Redskins, which effectively blots out the sun and punks all other sports in the nation’s capital. Washington is completely a Skins town through and through. The Wizards are making a playoff run and no one will know. Likewise, the Washington Capitals are fighting for their playoff lives. So what? The Redskins are on the verge of a major free agent signing.
For Redskins fans living through the last decade, the time has been marked by dashed expectations and failed coaching experiments. Steve Spurrier arrived to save the Skins with his passing offense genius and was soundly rebuffed. Joe Gibbs returned to his coaching post only to retreat back to NASCAR team ownership. The Jim Zorn coaching era began with low expectations and he met those expectations in admirable fashion. Finally, Mike Shanahan signed on to bring discipline and glory to the team. Instead, Coach Shanny brought discord and infighting with his star player RDIII. The team has been an utter mess the last few years.
The Eagles released DeSean Jackson last week amid rumors alleged gang affiliation. Although NFL teams often carry star players on the payroll with criminal backgrounds and scrapes with the law, the Eagles apparently washed their hands of Mr. Jackson based solely on rumor. He supposedly flashed Crip gang signs to fans during games. While other transgressions may be suspected, the Eagles have been mum. Rarely is a star player who fits so well with a team’s playing style released on mere suspicion. We all assume the Eagles know more than they are saying, but we may never find out. Some sports pundits may think that the ego of coach Chip Kelly is unchecked and he wants to prove he can achieve another season ending with a division title without a star player he does not like. Regardless of whether DeSean Jackson is a gang punk or not, Washington fans will gladly accept him into their sports realm if Mr. Jackson can help return the Redskins to playoff nirvana.
When the Redskins are successful all of Washington is a happy place. While the political fighting and maneuvering will continue unabated, glowing Redskins fans will happily ignore the politics as usual. Any excitement over the Maryland Terrapins creating new Big Ten rivalries will be swept under the rug. The agony over the Wizards inept play will likewise be ignored. At least for now, the hopes and expectations over what could be a great season for the Nationals will be paused and delayed. With the apparent marriage between the Redskins and Jackson, the Skins have hope again. That’s the hope and change Washington area football fans desperately want to see.
Over the past decade, the Skins have won the off season more than once with free agent signings. During the Shanahan era such free agent shopping sprees ceased. The team has stayed on the sidelines while other teams scooped up prized veteran players. With the current negotiations between the team and representatives for Mr. Jackson, the hopeful buzz has returned. Whether DeSean Jackson is or is not a gang member punk, his potential signing brings excitement to long suffering Washington sports fans.
Commentary by William Costolo