Jackson’s unhappy in San Diego, and the Redskins want to add proven receivers. That’s where a potential trade stops making sense.
Here’s a better idea, though: Instead of going after somebody else’s franchise wide receiver, how about developing one of your own?
Washington drafted Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly in the second round in 2008. Both have shown flashes of breaking out but neither has been on the field enough to develop into a reliable go-to option.
Thomas posted a 100-yard, two-touchdown game last season. Kelly racked up 100 receiving yards for the first time in his two pro seasons in Week 17 last season. But each has spent the offseason following rumors linking the Skins to various pass-catchers.
“With this new coaching staff coming in, they’re adding a top caliber player at almost every position,” Kelly said via the phone on Thursday. “These guys are smart. You just have to trust they’re doing what is going to help us.”
If the Redskins did trade for Jackson, they’d be getting a supersized (6 feet 5 inches and 230 pounds) downfield threat with exceptional hands.
They’d also be adding a guy who is going to miss the first three games of next season because of a second DUI conviction.
Jackson, 27, is coming off of back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons and his reception and yardage totals have climbed in all five of his NFL seasons. So he won’t come cheap.
The Chargers are reportedly looking for Brandon Marshall-like compensation. He netted Denver a pair of second round picks when he was dealt to the Dolphins.
The Redskins, who trade draft picks like nerds trade "Magic" cards, already moved next year’s third- and fourth-round picks. But not having many cards left to play isn’t why the Redskins should avoid dealing for Jackson.
Thomas and Kelly, both 23, have combined to make just 21 starts in two seasons. Thomas has game-breaking speed, and Kelly’s size presents downfield matchup problems.
Detractors knock them for their lack of production, but that's like condemning a waiter for how the food tastes or complaining to a cab driver about traffic.
Are Kelly and Thomas at fault for not breaking out, yet? It’s hard to make key catches in a visor.
“I don’t take offense to the rumors,” Kelly said about the latest player Washington’s publicly flirted with. “All this staff has to go on with me is game film, and last year I didn’t even really get a chance to go out there and show what I can do until the last few games of the season. They want guys who are proven.”
Kelly, however, is confident that when the offseason ends, he’ll be near the top of the Redskins’ depth chart.
“With Coach [Mike] Shanahan, we know that if you show what you can do in practice, he’s going to see it. He’s going to put the best guys on the field.”
If Jackson’s a Redskin, he’ll be one of those “best guys.” But would trading for him be in the team’s best long-term interest? How many times can you order out before your groceries go bad?
If the Redskins keep bringing in ‘proven’ players, they might just find out.