navigation-background arrow-down-circle Reply Icon Show More Heart Delete Icon wiki-circle wiki-square wiki arrow-up-circle add-circle add-square add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up calendar-circle chat-bubble-2 chat-bubble check-circle check close contact-us credit-card drag menu email embed facebook-circle facebook-square facebook faq-circle faq film gear google-circle google-square google history home instagram-circle instagram-square instagram linkedin-circle linkedin-square linkedin load monitor Video Player Play Icon person pinterest-circle pinterest-square pinterest play readlist remove-circle remove-square remove search share sign-out star trailer trash twitter-circle twitter-square twitter youtube-circle youtube-square youtube

Inside the Numbers - DeSean Jackson vs. Pierre Garcon

February 17, 2017
We’ve spent much of the last week on two subjects here on

The first is Bruce Allen not helping Scot McCloughan the correct way by hiring an assistant to help him, instead of putting a muzzle on him and making it look from the outside (and inside) and creating a power-structure struggle.

The other main issue we’ve been hammering is the debate between DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, two top free-agents for the Redskins who happen to play at the same position.

What happens if they both leave? Is that a nightmare scenario? Do you believe in the new version of DeSean Jackson? I do, with cautious optimism.

I never thought I would come to this conclusion, but if I had to make a choice between the two players, I would choose Jackson. I know, I know. It doesn’t make sense, but if you read the column, you will understand why.

The next phase of our series on “DeSean vs. Pierre” is an “Inside the Numbers” approach to the situation.

I - What could we expect from a contract perspective for Garcon and Jackson? 

Per, Pierre Garcon has a “calculated market value” of $8.7 million in average annual salary and based on their calculations, which weighs a large number of data, Garcon should be able to get a three-year, $26.312 million deal.

DeSean Jackson, per, has a “calculated market value” of $7.6 million in average annual salary and based on their calculations, might only fetch a two-year, $15.21 million deal.

I believe these numbers are low on both players because of the competitive market place that exists.

My colleague at 106.7 the FAN, Brian McNally brought up this point recently. Tavon Austin of the Rams received a four year, $42 million extension with Los Angeles. He received 17 million in full guarantees and $28.5 in total guarantees. He averages $10.5 million per year.

Austin is a dynamic talent but he was not a free agent, like Garcon and Jackson. He also only had 58 catches for 509 yards and three touchdowns in 2016, playing in a terrible offense with terrible quarterbacks.

His career highs in both receptions and yards came last year. The 25-year old is a former eighth overall pick for the Rams in 2013.

That’s the one advantage he has over Garcon and Jackson.

II. A three-year statistical snapshot:

For the 30-year old (will turn 31 in December) Jackson, his three-year numbers look like this:

2016: 15 games played, 56 receptions, 100 targets, 1,005 yards, 17.9 average, four touchdowns, 35 first downs on receptions, no fumbles.

2015: 10 games played, 30 receptions, 49 targets, 528 yards, 17.6 average, four touchdowns, 15 first downs on receptions, no fumbles. **Jackson did have a critical fumble loss on a punt return.

2014: 15 games played, 56 receptions, 94 targets, 1, 169 yards, 20.9 average, six touchdowns, 35 first downs on receptions, no fumbles.

For the 30-year old (will turn 31 in August) Garcon, his three-year numbers look like this:

2016: 16 games played, 79 receptions, 116 targets, 1,041 yards, 13.2 average, three touchdowns, 52 first downs on receptions, no fumbles.

2015: 16 games played, 72 receptions, 110 targets, 777 yards, 10.8 average, six touchdowns, 43 first downs on receptions, no fumbles.

2014: 16 games played, 68 receptions, 105 targets, 752 yards, 11.1 average, three touchdowns, 32 first downs on receptions, no fumbles.

III. weighs in on Garcon vs. Jackson.

Many media members are hard-core non believers in PFF’s grading system. I am not. I don’t agree with every one of their evaluations, but most are fair in my eyes and they are a great resource for the entire NFL.

Their complicated grading system is far from just statistical basis. They explain it here.

For Pierre Garcon in 2016 – PFF graded him as an 85.8 overall grade (all grades out of 100) with an 84.9 receiving grade and a 78.4 run-block grade. Garcon played 807 snaps with 246 run blocking snaps.

For DeSean Jackson in 2016 – PFF graded him at 77.0 overall. He was given at 75.9 receiving grade and a 73.3 run blocking grade.  Jackson played 712 total snaps with 192 run blocking plays. 

It’s interesting (and it is the way I view it) to see PFF rank DeSean (# 3 behind Alshon Jeffery and Terrelle Pryor) one spot ahead of Garcon in their top free agent receiver feature. As they point out and the numbers above show, Jackson has averaged over 17 yards per reception in each of his three years with the Redskins.

PFF notes that Garcon had a 70 plus % catch rate and averaged over 13 yards per reception for the first time since 2012.

So there you have it:  An “Inside the Numbers” approach to a huge debate that we’ve gone heavy on the last week. DeSean Jackson vs. Pierre Garcon. Which one will return? Will either return?

Maybe when the Redskins figure out how to stop the fire from burning in their own building, they can get to work on what they really need to do. 

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