Jackson going to Washington makes sense on many levels. A last-place team in the competitive NFC East, he would be an ideal candidate to go to Washington and give Donovan McNabb a true go-to receiver. Throw in Daniel Snyder's endless capacity to toss away money, it seems like a glove fit.
Snyder's willingness to share his wealth with those willing to cash his checks is legendary. He has given coaches like Marty Schottenheimer and Steve Spurrier huge contracts, only to cut them loose when they didn't live up to expectations – yet paid them in full not to be his head coach at a clip of $5 million a year. He has had several Hall of Fame players on his roster, except that, by the time he got them, they were long since past their primes and nobody else was willing to pay them the kind of money Crazy Dan was willing to pony up. Ask Bruce Smith. Or Deion Sanders. Or, to a lesser extent based on his track record (not his ability to cash 10-figure checks) Albert Haynesworth. Snyder has a track record of making foolish decisions with his wealth. Jackson, while seemingly too young to be overpaid Snyder style, would seem to fit in his M.O. of doing business.
It would appear that, if the Vikings indeed make a run for Jackson, it would be based on medical opinions that Sidney Rice isn't going to be available in the second half of the 2010 season. Brett Favre has made it clear that this will be his last season. If the plan is to stack the deck for a one-year run at a championship, then it makes sense to mortgage a premium draft pick to get it done. But the ramifications of such a move could have an impact on the franchise far beyond the 2010 season. The next time there is a contract dispute, it will be a Vikings player demanding a trade. That is something new to the Vikings experience. When Mike Tice was head coach, if a player wanted out, he got rid of them. That hasn't happened in the Childress Administration.
In the short term, the signing of Jackson would be a positive. He could provide an offensive threat currently missing from the Vikings roster. But, if the Vikings give in to signing a player that has his last team hostage, the only question casual observers can ask is, "Will he do it again?" The best thing for the long-term health of the Vikings franchise, albeit not in the short-term best interest, is to let Snyder overpay for Jackson. He can afford to get scorched yet again. The Vikings may not have that luxury, considering the key players nearing the point of contract extensions/re-negotiations.
If the goal of the Vikings is "2010 or bust" they may get both with signing Jackson. It may help their standing in 2010, but it may also cause – dare we say – a schism among those who have given their all for the franchise only to see the big money paid to an outsider. That is a Snyder model, not a Wilf model.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.