Jansen signs

For months Jon Jansen anticipated free agency. Not necessarily because he wanted it, but because he didn't think the Redskins would offer him a good deal. Which is why he said more than a few times that he likely wouldn't re-sign here.

But the threat of the transition tag, plus a better offer, convinced Jansen the time to sign was now. So he did just that, agreeing to the deal Wednesday afternoon and signing the contract Thursday--less than one week after he wondered aloud about where he would play next season. And didn't mention Washington.

Things change fast in the NFL, which is why Jansen has returned. Owner Dan Snyder got involved in the negotiations and upped the offer to include an $8 million signing bonus in the six-year, $25 million deal.

Also, the threat of the transition tag made Jansen's side realize it might be hard to leave--even if they wanted to. The Redskins could have matched any offer and some teams would be scared from dealing with someone under this tag because they'd be doing another team's bargaining.

Jansen maintained for a long time that he wanted to play in Washington. About two months ago he told a group of reporters just that in a private conversation, conceding it was as much about financial security as anything. Also, he's not one for moving around a lot and his wife likes it here. All of it makes sense.

But his mood changed in the past month. Jansen avoided the media for most of the past month or so--even on subjects far from this topic. He looked unhappy with his situation and the team's performance. When asked for a comment on anything he'd say, ''I'll talk in two weeks.''

This is a good move by the Redskins. But Jansen had better not walk around in such a dour mood. He needs to stand up more for what's happened here--like a Chris Samuels or others who face the media on a regular basis, win or lose. Jessie Armstead said that's one responsibility of leadership and now that Jansen is getting the big money, that's something he must do more. He's clearly a leader on the field, however.

In casual conversations over the past month, Jansen was very pessimistic about a return. Again, though, at least some of that stemmed from the pace of the negotiations as well as a belief the Redskins wouldn't give him what he wanted.

Is it surprising he's back? A week ago I would have said yes. But things changed over the weekend when it sounded as if there was some hope, which is what we wrote in Wednesday's post. And we always thought if the Redskins made him a great offer, he'd probably sign--how do you pass up $8 million as a bonus?

They made it. So he signed.

Breaking Burgundy Top Stories