The Washington Redskins spending big money in free agency is a rite of Spring that rivals Opening Day or any basketball tournament. This year, Spring arrived a little later than usual.
The team has re-signed five players since February, and handed Brian Orakpo a pricey franchise tag. The 'Skins have signed 12 free agents from other squads, including a deal that awarded defensive tackle Jason Hatcher $10.5 million in 2014. But Jackson's deal is the move that will make the biggest impact.
No one can say that Robert Griffin III lacks weapons now. In Pierre Garcon and Jackson, the Redskins might have the fastest starting wide receiver duo in the league. (And the best Redskins tandem since Gary Clark and Art Monk.) We'd pick a few current pairs ahead of them overall (Chicago and Atlanta, to start), but no group has more big-play ability. New Redskins coach Jay Gruden is used to coaching a quarterback that can't deliver the ball deep. Griffin has a cannon, and will have a hard time overthrowing this group. And he knows it.
The Redskins also signed underrated slot receiver Andre Roberts from Arizona, who is one of the fastest inside route runners in football. Tight end Jordan Reed is basically a fast wide receiver. Left tackle Trent Williams is one of the most athletic players at his position, and running back Alfred Morris is another Pro Bowler. Throw in Griffin's running ability, and the Redskins have the makings of a fast-break offense that Jackson's old coach Chip Kelly would be proud of.
The pieces are in place, and they are mostly young pieces. As usual, the Redskins are going for it. It's on Gruden and Griffin to convert this annual offseason excitement into a more elusive autumn tradition: winning.