The Washington Redskins had successful outings this past season from both Garcon and Jackson. In terms of pure stats, each eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark and Jackson led the NFL with 17.9 yards per catch. However, with both entering unrestricted free agent status this offseason, there's a chance Washington could lose both, Breaking Burgundy's Ben Standig has reported. On the surface, that would be unnecessary turnover for a team that already has a ton of holes to fill.
However, there's also an upside to this kind of losing.
While it's risky and unusual to lose your top two receivers in one offseason, Washington has young emerging talents waiting for more opportunities. You could argue that Jamison Crowder, who is heading into his third season, was the team's best receiver in 2016. The slot threat led Washington's offense with seven touchdowns, nearly joined Garcon and Jackson in the 1,000-yard club and was a key factor in several victories. For him, it was a mark that could've easily been obtained had he not been phased out the game plan late in the season. Which brings me back to the initial point. Crowder would immediately become the team's top receiver with both Garcon and Jackson gone. In my opinion, he would absolutely rise to the occasion. He's the best route runner on the team and displayed his explosiveness often last season. He reminds me a lot of a young Antonio Brown.
Of course, you do need more than just Crowder to make-up for the loss of both Jackson and Garcon. That's where Josh Doctson comes in. If he's healthy -- yes, BIG if -- he would immediately take over that Garcon role. Doctson is a chain mover who can run those tough inside-the-number routes while also being a jump ball specialist. I do have my concerns with Doctson, who missed the majority of his rookie season. He needs to work very hard this offseason to prepare himself. But he was drafted round one, no doubt, with foresight of possibly losing Garcon or Jackson.
It should also be noted that the team really likes now second-year WR Maurice Harris. He worked really hard last season to get promoted to the active roster. Once he made the roster, he worked even harder to keep the spot by not turning his nose up to special teams. He's a sure-handed receiver with a very savvy approach to his game. If he had Doctson's explosiveness he'd be a force because he's more advanced with his routes running. Harris is a guy who can work both inside and outside, which is rare for a receiver his size (6-foot-3, 201 lbs). He reminds me of a young T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
While losing both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon isn't ideal, it could definitely have it's benefits. It's risky. But you also have to factor that General Manager Scot McCloughan is a guy who drafts receivers every year. He doesn't have a history of paying big bucks at the position. I do believe possibly signing a guy like Kenny Britt in free agency would give the team nice insurance at the position. But either way, I don't think it would be tough to move on from Garcon and Jackson.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.