The Philadelphia Eagles took a big risk releasing DeSean Jackson -- regardless of why they did it. The Eagles stood to pay a big price if Jackson's absence couldn't be filled, no matter of where he went. However, as of April 1, Philadelphia stands to pay huge if its controversial decisions don't pan out, now that Jackson is a Washington Redskin.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Jackson will earn $16 million of guaranteed money, and a maximum of $24 million overall, over three years with the Redskins. As it turns out, the way Jackson left the Eagles -- and the multitude of unanswered questions about why he was cut -- didn't faze the Redskins one bit.
The temptation was just too great for Washington, as it now has the top receiving threat from the team that won the NFC East last season. If Jackson is truly determined to prove himself and prove the Eagles wrong over everything, the Redskins offer the greatest chance to do it. Although Washington utterly collapsed last season, a healthy Robert Griffin III and a Jackson on a mission might be what brings it back into contention -- and leaps it over Philadelphia.
Signing big names players, in spite of the doubts around them, is basically the Redskins' modus operandi -- no matter how often it fails. Washington was the biggest soap opera in the NFC East last season, while Philadelphia has provided the biggest soap opera of the offseason. As such, there was virtually nowhere else Jackson could go that made sense.
The Redskins tried to take advantage of the Eagles giving up big stars for nothing before, and failed miserably. When Philadelphia outright traded Donovan McNabb to Washington in 2010, the Redskins still did nothing with him for one season, while the Eagles won the NFC East with Michael Vick. It was the beginning of the end for McNabb's career, although the Eagles didn't make out much better in the long run.
Jackson should have a better chance to excel for the Redskins than McNabb did -- yet he is always one concussion or one off-field problem away from crashing down. The Eagles tried to distance themselves from that tight rope, leaving aside why they did it and what they believed about Jackson's alleged gang ties. But will that decision now bring the NFC East crown back from Philadelphia to Washington?