Before we turn all of our thoughts toward free agency, the NFL Draft and the 2016 season. Breaking Burgundy will put a bow on the Washington Redskins NFC East-winning 2015 campaign, player report card style. Peter Hailey on the highlights, lowlights and what the immediate future holds for all members of the Burgundy and Gold.
Player: DeSean Jackson
Position: Wide receiver
Contract status: $9.25 million cap hit for 2016/Free agent in 2017
Preseason buzz: After Benedict Arnold-ing the Eagles last offseason and joining the Redskins, Jackson had a strong debut campaign. And the expectation was he would do the exact same thing in 2015: Rip off one or two big-gainers a week, get into the end zone six or seven times, and cause opposing defensive coordinators to quiver at the sight of his name.
Ended 2015 as...:His usual self, playing like the deep threat he is and allowing Washington’s offense to operate at the level it wanted to but couldn’t while he was injured.
Season highs: His eight catch, 153-yard and one touchdown performance against the Bills was his best overall game, and the 77-yard scoring pass he
hauled in from Kirk Cousins was pure DJax.
Season lows: Easy — that time he did that punt return thing against the Cowboys where instead of running forward like a normal returner usually does, he decided to run backward and then fumble the ball and whatnot which eventually caused the ‘Skins to lose to freakin’ Matt Cassel. No need to delve further into this memory. With #11, you live with the good and the bad.
Off-the-field highlight: Jackson welcomed a baby to the world in late October, and had his own reality show that aired during the summer and preseason. Expand that brand, DeSean.
Grade: B. When he was on the field, he was a stud, but the hamstring injury he suffered that forced him to miss part or all of seven games and caused him to catch just 30 passes overall during the year harmed him and the Redskins in a lot of ways.
2016 expectations: There's a question over whether the Redskins brings back Jackson/ or Pierre Garcon because both are on the books for a large salary cap hit. If back, Jackson's on-the-field duties won’t change from what he’s been asked to do his entire life. There should be some expectations that he’ll start to act more like a veteran, too. Not missing OTAs or any time at training camp, and not doing things like forgetting to stretch the ball over the pylon would be a welcome sight. He’s got a surreal amount of skill, and if he just solved a few issues when it comes to his concentration, he’ll look more like his 2014 self than last season’s self.
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