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Should the Redskins keep Tanard Jackson on the roster?

May 6, 2014, 10:34 AM EST

Tanard-Jackson-minicamp

According to multiple media reports, the NFL is going to reinstate safety Tanard Jackson, who has been on a substance policy related suspension since August of 2012, to the league on Tuesday.

He is under the same one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Redskins that was essentially frozen when he was suspended. Adding his $735,000 salary to the cap will mean a net increase of $165,000 to the cap. The Redskins are sitting with almost $2.6 million in cap space so finances will not be an impediment to Jackson’s return.

And it’s not like the safety position is stacked with talented players. Projected starters Brandon Meriweather and Ryan Clark are on the far side of 30. Phillip Thomas, a fourth-round draft pick a year ago, has yet to take an NFL snap after missing last year with an injury. Bacarri Rambo, Thomas’ draft classmate, struggled mightily when he played last year. Jose Gumbs and Trenton Robinson are suited to be backups and special teams players.

Despite the money and depth chart situations greasing the skids for Jackson’s return, the Redskins should think long and hard about bringing Jackson back into the fold. You don’t need to have a real long memory to recall how badly Jackson burned the Redskins in 2012. Between his suspension and Meriweather’s injury the Redskins had to play the season without a starting caliber safety in the lineup. Although they did manage to win the NFC East, an additional win or two during their first nine games, when they went 3-6, would have helped playoff seeding, perhaps getting them a first-round bye.

The bottom line is that they counted on Jackson and he let them down.

Should the Redskins trust that Jackson will stay on the straight and narrow? To put a twist on the old saying, burn me once, shame on you; burn me twice, shame on me.

Even if he is not a starter, if Jackson is on the team, the team will be counting on him to be there for whatever role he is supposed to fulfill. Jackson apparently has a strong support group around him but he presumably had many of the same people on his side in 2012 and they weren’t able to keep him on the right path.

It would be a good story if Jackson could resume his NFL career after missing two full seasons and playing in just 12 games since the 2009 season. But the Redskins are not in the good story business. They need to do what’s best for the Redskins, not what’s best for Jackson. What’s best for the Redskins might be cutting Jackson loose and thereby avoiding a situation where they have to count on him.

  1. abanig - May 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    No way! He’s missed more games for suspension in the NFL than he’s played. He’s been suspended for 3 NFL seasons. He hasn’t played a football regular season game since week 10 of the 2011 season.

    If Raheem Morris wasn’t here, I don’t even think we’d be considering keeping Tanard. Clear case of Raheem trying to keep one his “old boys” around. No other team would have interest in him.

    I don’t know how we think we can trust him!

  2. rpenman65 - May 6, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    The funny thing is his suspension was for weed, not coke, crystal meth or anything other than a plant that grows out the ground. If this same situation happened to a Tom Brady or a Manning you all would be saying and writing the opposite. So what the NFL suspended Jackson, just like the NFL bent the Redskins over with this salary cap penalty. Personally if Jackson is cut he will go to another team and have a fantastic year and you all pundits will be hollering about how we should and could have kept him. This should be a non issue and having Ryan Clark, Merriweather, and Jackson as our safeties is a very good thing this year. Also Jackson isn’t even 30 yet…….

    • Rich Tandler - May 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      To quote from ³Doonesbury² on the subject of weed: ³It may be right and it may be wrong but, for sure, it¹s against the law.²

      Rules are rules. To be an NFL player you have to follow rules that we don¹t. When you take the paycheck, you follow the rules.

      And don¹t tell me what I might write about Brady or Manning. I would probably be more cautious about bringing back a QB who didn¹t have the self control to stay away from weed.

      And I will never holler about how they should have kept him. Ever.

      WordPress.com

      • Bryan - May 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

        Agreed

      • jloco - May 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        I agree. Follow the rules or u will have consequences. But its his responsibility to follow the rules. Wheu endorse that paycheck and cash it then u you have to abide my rules. Write or wrong.

      • wolfmagic2012 - May 6, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        Agreed, Big Show means follow the rules Big Time… If he’s on track give him a shot, cuz after all… it was only weed. Aside from letting us down so badly, perhaps he gets it now, and will give back more than he took away…Camp will tell the tale… HTTR

        • tnt66 - May 6, 2014 at 5:38 PM

          They just released him so I guess that settles that

  3. Bryan - May 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Let him do training camp and preseason, if he is good then keep him of not then cut him. It’s not gonna hurt is either way.

  4. tnt66 - May 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Yes, it is low risk high reward situation. If he is even a shawdow of his former self he will be the best safety on a team with a dire need at the position. If he doesn’t show anything in camp you can easily release him.

  5. hitmeimopen - May 6, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    Tanard the canard…actually we can afford to see what he brings…both athletically and character-wise.

  6. mauriceatwood - May 6, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Doesn’t matter either way, but why give him one last shot and hope for the best. If he lets the team down again then he is done permanently anyway.

  7. mauriceatwood - May 6, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    I meant to say why not give him one last shot.

  8. I.L. - May 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    I want to see my team succeed and we will need all the help we can get at the Safety position. I dont want the situation to end up like the last 2 seasons, but we should give “Tanard Jackson” a chance to become a great safety and help The Team while doing so. We need depth at that position as we see the CBs will be playing a more versatile role., especially D.Hall.

  9. jdavis919 - May 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    what’s wrong with, at least, bringing him in and kicking the tires. See what he has; what he can bring. If he’s looking shady either physically or character wise, release him. Wont cost anything to kick the tires.

    • mrx149 - May 6, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Exactly. We don’t have to make a decision on his future with the team until we make our final cuts to the 53 man roster. That’s about four months of tire kicking, we can decide then. We need safety help and I don’t care how we get it.

      • tnt66 - May 6, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        Agree 100%. Plenty of time to see what he has to offer. Don’t count on him to help but no harm seeing if he can

        • kenlinkins - May 6, 2014 at 3:45 PM

          Even if he makes the team how do we count on him? Why get into that position (again) with a player who has shown little concern for leaving the team high and dry? What message does that send to other players who are fighting to stay clean? He didn’t do this once, but twice to two teams (and made Tampa Bay look pretty smart by cutting him). I get we need help a safety but this should not be the answer for the Redskins. IMO placing him on the 90 man roster just doesn’t pass the smell test!

  10. kenlinkins - May 6, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Rich’s point concerning Trust is important and one I over looked on Monday. How do you trust the women would left you standing at the alter, the wife you found in bed with another man, or the business partner who cheated you? The answer is you don’t! T. Jackson already had a second chance, how do you place him on the 90 man roster and tell someone else you has not broken trust that they will not get their shot in training camp even thou they have done nothing wrong? The answer is you shouldn’t! Right now, there is some young kid who is just waiting for a phone call next week from the Redskins saying, “how would you like your shot at the NFL”?, If we allow T. Jackson on the 90 man roster that kid will not get that phone call. How would any of us feel it that kid was a family member or close friend? IMO The Redskins should move forward without T. Jackson and find players who we can trust.

    • Tim - May 6, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      If memory serves me correctly Tanard never failed a test while he was a member of the Redskins. He failed the last test as a member of the Bucs who released him. The Redskins signed him knowing that he would be suspended and were willing to give him a shot upon his return.

      • Rich Tandler - May 6, 2014 at 6:38 PM

        I don’t believe that accurate. At least that’s not what Shanahan said at the time (but we all know that he has trouble with the truth sometimes).

        And if it is true, they the Redskins were criminally stupid. You work the guy through OTAs, minicamp, training camp preseason as your starting safety knowing full well that they were going to have the rug pulled out from under them? Shanny did a lot of things that didn’t make a whole lot of sense but not that stupid.

        > >

  11. babyteal1 - May 6, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    PLeeeeeeze……….we need safety help!!! Let him try out for the team…..nothing to lose!!

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