PHILADELPHIA — Less than five days after the Eagles released DeSean Jackson, the Pro Bowl wide receiver signed a three-year contact with the Redskins, according to an NFL source.
“It’s going down!! Burgundy and Gold,” Jackson posted on Twitter.
The agreement was reached late Tuesday night after a day of negotiations and days of speculation about where Jackson would land after the Eagles cut their top receiver. In the end, he chose the NFC East rival Redskins, although it was unclear how many other teams were seriously interested in the controversial 27-year-old.
Jackson will have two opportunities next season to make Chip Kelly and the Birds pay for their decision. The NFL will release the 2014 schedule later this month. The Redskins are expected to officially announce the signing and introduce Jackson at a news conference on Wednesday.
His signing comes almost exactly four years after the Eagles traded another one of their superstars — quarterback Donovan McNabb — to the Redskins. In 2002, the Eagles cut linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, who went to Washington. Neither decision would come back to haunt the team.
Jackson visited Redskins headquarters on Tuesday but left without a contract. He went to a nearby hotel as negotiations carried into the evening.
Although there were reports late Monday that Jackson and the Redskins had agreed to terms and that his signing was a “done deal,” an NFL source said that was not the case early Tuesday morning, indicating that talks had yet to begin.
Still, league insiders expected Jackson to sign with the Redskins, and he eventually did. There had been various reports of as many as nine teams expressing interest, but Washington was the only one that brought in Jackson for a visit.
The details of the contract were unknown late Tuesday, but Jackson was not expected to command anywhere near what he would have made this season ($10.5 million) if the Eagles had kept him. Teams were unwilling to trade for him and that contract, so it was unlikely that he would get as much on the open market.
The Redskins had roughly $6.3 million in salary-cap space for 2014, but Jackson can reach a higher per-year number depending upon bonuses and how the money is spread out.
Much has been made of hand signals Jackson made in Instagram photos he posted of himself and made toward Hall last season, and whether they were a reference to the Los Angeles-based Crips gang. An NJ.com report last week described his connections with reputed gang members.
Jackson denied ever being part of a gang after the Eagles released him following the posting of the story. Still, teams appeared to shy away from him.
The Redskins didn’t back off and stole a top talent from one of their divisional rivals. Now we’ll see who made the right call.