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DeSean vs. Pierre - Who Should the Redskins Bring Back?

February 14, 2017
The question has been asked many times over the last few months.

Who should the Redskins re-sign? DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garcon? How about neither? We asked that last week in a specific way, without laying out the facts and a specific argument.

In late December, while on the radio at 106.7 the FAN, I made an argument that shocked even myself. I said that DeSean Jackson was a must-have.

Wait, I said that the Redskins must re-sign DeSean Jackson? After my history with his arrival? I would have never thought this would happen.

I did. I promise. I didn’t exactly make the argument that it should be Jackson over Garcon back then, but now I will say that.  It’s not because I don’t want Garcon back. It’s not because I like Jackson’s work ethic over Pierre’s. It’s not because of any specific reason.

But it is for two main reasons that I lean towards Jackson over Garcon, if I have to choose between one or the other, which I do.

There’s a much better chance that both receivers will leave compared to both coming back. It would be a major shocker if both were to return and probably doom for a lot of other potential moves.

Why Jackson over Garcon? Simple. I can’t replace his speed, ball-tracking ability and feel for running a fluid route into or past traffic and still making a play, despite not having ideal size.

Jackson changes how defenses cover the Redskins and theoretically, when he’s healthy and doing his thing, it should make Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder’s job easier.

We all know this for the most part.

The other reason why I would choose Jackson over Garcon? If Garcon leaves, I believe he would go to either the Rams or 49ers, meaning out of the NFC East. He can hurt you less. Yes, it’s possible he could wind up with the Eagles, but I don’t see that fit considering what Philadelphia already has.

If Jackson leaves, it’s very likely, although not 100% guaranteed, that he winds up with his former team, the Eagles.

I know that is not a good enough reason to just sign somebody if you have no interest in him, but clearly, the Redskins should and do have an interest along with a need for what Jackson brings.

If Jackson were to leave for Philadelphia, he could potentially hurt you twice per year head-to-head like he used to but he also hurts you in the divisional race with an Eagles offense that would be much, much better in year two under Carson Wentz and Doug Pedersen. He would obviously play the full year for the Eagles and add to their team while subtracting from the Redskins over the course of an entire year. 

Again, many fans and pundits who do not understand simple reality, will boil it down to Jackson just being able to hurt the Redskins twice per year. No! That’s not even close to being true.

Garcon is coming off a 1,000-yard season and is several months older than Jackson for whatever that matters.

Jackson is also coming off a grand and he missed a game.

As we wrote about on Monday, Jackson seems to be less selfish and more committed to the team concept. He certainly has matured during his time in Washington and it appears that becoming a father has changed him to a large degree.

Looks can be deceiving but for the most part, the proof has been in the pudding. Jackson’s worst transgression over his three years with the Redskins has been missing non-mandatory workouts.

I still am not a big fan of that and I certainly hope that will change for this year with his commitment to be at Redskins Park so far this off-season and he apparently bought a home in the Ashburn area.

Image result for desean jackson

Garcon is a better blocker and certainly is tougher and more durable. I understand all of that and more.

However, part of why Josh Doctson was drafted was because his skill-set more resembles what Garcon brings to the table. IF, and it’s a huge if, he can get on the field.

Jamison Crowder, while a different player, is much closer to Garcon’s skill-set than Jackson’s abilities.

The facts are this: It is much harder to replace DeSean Jackson’s talent compared to Garcon’s skill-set.

It’s not just about getting somebody to run really fast. Sorry, but anybody that offers that analysis hasn’t been watching.

Garcon can still occasionally stretch a defense as he did on a 70-yard touchdown catch-and-run over a injury-shredded Packers secondary.

He says that he can still do that on a regular basis but he wasn’t asked to or allowed to do so. That’s all fair, but there’s no way he is doing that as consistently as Jackson does.

Just like there’s no way that Jackson is as good of a blocker or as tough as Garcon is. It just depends on what you value.

I value what I don’t have. It’s not as easy to replace as many think.  Just ask, well, the Redskins. Remember Rashad “The Rocket” Ross? Yeah, that. Ross was explosive from a speed perspective and could return kicks. He was great in the preseason two years in a row.

Coaches didn’t have any faith in him to run the routes he needed to and do the things they required.

Ross was inactive for the first two games of the year and ‘up’ for the next few, catching only one pass for eight yards at Baltimore. He was inactive for seven out of the next eight contests before being released last in the season.

In other words, he could run real fast but he couldn’t play fast or play the way he needed to play.

It’s yet another reason why the Redskins should bring back Jackson and why they shouldn’t be so arrogant (that’s hard for them) that they think they can easily replace what D-Jax brings to the table. 

Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for six seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for the last five. He covers the Redskins for Monumental Network (,, & Warpath Magazine. Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN