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Commentary: Jackson was a bad sign for Redskins

by on April 06, 2014 1:40 AM

Daniel Snyder strikes again.

Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, has turned one of the NFL’s great franchises into a laughingstock. Was anybody surprised when he coughed up the money to sign free-agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson? Snyder has been throwing money at his inept franchise since he bought the team in 1999 and has had seven head coaches and three winning seasons.

There was quite a bit of controversy around Jackson’s release by the Eagles last week because of a story insinuating that the Eagles were concerned about Jackson’s possible gang affiliation. Jackson had been known to flash the Crips sign every now and then.

Snyder proved a long time ago that he doesn’t have a clue about putting together a perennial contender much less a winning team, and he also has made it clear that he still thinks that there is a correlation between spending and winning in the NFL.

We don’t know how many teams showed any real interest in signing Jackson, who signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Redskins, with $16 million guranteed, but it’s probably safe to assume that Snyder overpaid. He got himself a really good wide receiver — probably one of the top five in the league. But he also got himself, suspicions of gang affiliation aside, a bad guy.

Have you read or heard any complaints from Jackson’s former teammates on the Eagles?

There’s always the possibility that an immature 27-year-old will grow up when he joins your team, but Snyder made a gamble on a guy who, according to Joseph Santoliquito of CBS Philadelphia, was not liked by his teammates and, according to multiple team sources, including players, was “blatantly insubordinate, with temper tantrums cussing out (head coach Chip) Kelly several times in front of the team … and was more concerned with his rap label than he was about winning football games.”

According to the story, many players were happy when they heard he was released.

Yeah, there’s a guy you want to guarantee $16 million of your money.

Put me down as a Chip Kelly fan, although it would have been even more impressive if he had cut Jackson immediately after one of his tantrums.

• The Steelers guaranteed LeGarrette Blount $950,000 to be their backup running back next season. They’re expected to use him in short-yardage and goal-line situations, but if you check out his highlights on YouTube, you might get the idea that he could be and should be used for a lot more than that.

His nickname is The Winnebago. He might not make Steelers fans forget about The Bus, but he could, if given the opportunity, create a running back controversy. He’s a 6-foot, 250-pound back who runs over people, makes people miss and has surprising breakaway speed.

In the Patriots’ last regular-season game, Blount gained 189 yards on 24 carries and scored two touchdowns. He followed that up with 166 yards on 24 carries against the Colts in the playoffs.

He also was suspended in college for punching an opponent in the mouth after a game and is playing on his fourth team in four years. So, even the Steelers have become less picky than they used to be.

• The “wooing” at PNC Park is one more example in a really long list of examples of the rapid dumbing-down of the American sports fan.

• When you read stories about the NCAA protecting the amateur purity of its football and basketball student-athletes, keep in mind that 39 hockey players who will be competing in the Frozen Four this weekend have already been drafted by NHL teams.

• NBC sportscaster Bob Costas went on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” on Thursday night and said America needs stiffer gun control laws because of all the problems that have resulted from NFL players owning guns. Bob needs to stop talking about guns.

• I heard rumors that there were tailgaters outside South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium, where Jadeveon Clowney held his pro day workout Tuesday. I was too afraid to confirm them.

• How do you like Major League Baseball’s replay system so far? You ain’t seen nothing yet. I thought it was interesting that, during a Pirates game in which replays played a major role, home plate umpire Bob Davidson was missing pitch after pitch and there was no way to “make it right” with a replay.

• According to “Pro Football Focus,” the Steelers have signed the worst-tackling safety, the worst-cover corner and the most-butter-fingered receiver as free agents. The scary thing is that those signings might have made the team better.

• If you want to see why players not being paid is the least of college football’s problems, check out the story about academic fraud on this month’s “Real Sports” on HBO. My favorite was the football player at the University of Memphis who kept Dr. Seuss books under his bed to teach himself how to read. That’s Dr. Seuss as in “The Cat in the Hat,” which means that Memphis might have enrolled a football player who couldn’t spell football.

Or cat.



John Steigerwald's blog can be found at www.justwatchthegame.com, and he is the author of "Just Watch The Game." His column appears each Saturday.
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