I suppose this is more of a continuation of the DeSean Jackson debate that started on today's Sixpack. After all, we do usually like to provide a fresh sheet for comments once we get to 500+ on one page.
For what it's worth, the debate thus far has been spirited and respectful. I have especially appreciated the views presented by all the fans and readers who think that Jackson would be a great addition to our roster. There is no denying that his presence is a game-changer on offense as well as special teams. There is no denying that we are in desperate need for that in both departments.
The gang stuff has been played up considerably, and I definitely noted it in my initial column, but to everyone who pointed out that these allegations are just that--allegations--you are 100% correct. I think that a general manager has to consider this in his decision-making process, but we must be careful when we discuss it because the truth is that Jackson has been convicted of nothing. There is a decent-sized list of NFL players that have been implicated for far worse things than simply associating with the "wrong kind of people."
Assuming that DeSean gets a job in the NFL, it will be because a group of very professional investigators determined that the risk of Jackson becoming the next Aaron (pronounced Ay-Ay-Ron) Hernandez is low to nonexistent.
I have staked myself to an early "No" when answering the question, "Should the Redskins sign DeSean Jackson?" But the truth is that if Washington does sign this player, I am hardly going to take offense and refuse to support my team.
Put very simply: The issue of whether or not we sign DeSean Jackson is NOT one that will cause fans like myself to boycott the team or become so irate that we turn into freakish versions of Skip Bayless or something else equally crazy.
I reserve the right to root for all the players on our roster on opening day. Just because I disagree with a decision doesn't mean...well, let's be honest--it doesn't mean much. Ha!
I think what this topic has done for me the most is shine a light on one very forgettable fact: free agency is not even close to being over. We have become so conditioned to free agency essentially taking place in the first few hours of the open signing period that we lose sight sometimes of the depth of the free agent pool and the ways in which a team can still make decisions weeks later that could significantly increase our chances of winning--or losing.
I suppose I am still clinging to my "No" on this one, but if the money aspect of this deal turns out to be favorable for the Redskins, and the background check turns out to be favorable for everyone involved, signing DeSean Jackson could very well be one of the defining moments in the resurgence of this organization. That much I simply must grant you.