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Ripple effects on Redskins after Jackson suspension

Jul 10, 2014, 8:54 AM EDT


On Wednesday the NFL suspended Tanard Jackson for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy for the fourth time. Before moving on to looking at the football side of this, we should note that the implications for Jackson go far beyond football. It’s apparent that he has a major problem and he needs a lot of help.

Although the NFL’s statement called the action an indefinite suspension it seems more likely that it is a lifetime ban. Jackson has already served suspensions of four games and one year when he was with the Bucs and the indefinite suspension after he came to the Redskins. That one ended up being two years. The NFL is unlikely to give him a chance to earn a fifth suspension. Even if the NFL did let him come back at some point it’s hard to imagine a team signing a player with his history.

The Redskins were looking for Jackson to compete for a backup safety job. They don’t necessarily have to go out and sign a safety to replace him before camp starts. They still have eight safeties on the roster including veterans Ryan Clark and Brandon Meriweather, who are expected to start, and 2013 draft picks Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo. It now appears that those four have the inside track on roster spots with Akeem Davis and Trenton Robinson also in the mix.

Jackson was reinstated in early May, just before the NFL draft, and the Redskins did not take a safety in that draft, some are looking for cause and effect there. But it seems doubtful that they bypassed safeties due to the presence of Jackson on the roster. There weren’t any safeties they liked earlier in the draft and they had just invested mid- and late-round picks in Thomas and Rambo a year earlier.

The team now has a spot to fill on the 90-man roster. As noted, they have eight safeties after Jackson’s suspension so they are not really in need at the position. They run first, second, and third team in practice so they have enough bodies for that with a couple to spare. They could look to fill a spot on the offensive side, as they are a little tight at tackle, tight end, and fullback.

While the Redskins are certainly disappointed by Jackson’s suspension they probably are not shocked. They had him lining up with the third team. Certainly part of that was making him work his way back up after he was set to be the starter before his suspension just before the 2012 season. But it’s also a sign that you don’t necessarily expect the player to be around in the long haul.

  1. bison4me - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    They don’t have to sign another safety, but I would love for them to sign Jordan Bernstine, he’s worked hard to rehab himself back into playing shape, after that nasty knee injury in the Saints game. If the Redskins want to give guys second chances, might as well give one to a guy who’s hungry, determined, and won’t take it for granted.

    • abanig - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      I’d agree with that or they could re-sign Gumbs. I don’t think either would make the roster over Akeem Davis, Rambo or Trenton Robinson though

  2. bowlregard - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    If they say substance abuse, does that mean it’s not PEDs?

    • maxpower65 - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      From my understanding, yes. PEDs are normally a separate category.

    • Rich Tandler - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      I can’t get this confirmed but it could be for a PED. Jackson is in the NFL’s program for substance abuse, i. e. pot, etc. His previous suspensions were for that. But if after all this he tests positive for a PED for the first time, the suspension still falls under the substance abuse program so that’s what the NFL announcement would say.

      Again, I think this is reliable info but I’m not sure. It does make sense to me.

      • kenlinkins - Jul 10, 2014 at 5:42 PM

        Rich, Would it change my opinion of Mr. Jackson if it turns out this failed test was for a PED he took by mistake (like cold med, something given by Dr. for bipolar disorder, over the counter supplement, etc.) YES it would. If he took a PED trying to get an edge to make the team (juicing) , I would understand why he did it, but would not change my opinion that this man wasted one heck of a opportunity. Again, thanks for the info Rich.

      • manchild157 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:53 AM

        It really seems to be a breakdown in information concerning over the counter peds. It happens over and over where players around the league get advice from salesmen or their agents but not from the league.

  3. kenlinkins - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    It is clear that Mr. Jackson has problems he has not yet addressed in his personal life. While many of us can not understand how a talented guy with the skills to make millions of dollars playing in the NFL could just throw it all away so many times, the fact remains he did. What ever the problems / illness / health concerns facing Mr. Jackson that caused him to pick drugs over football, I do hope he doesn’t end up dead due to them. What is clear is that Mr. Jackson does not have what it takes to follow the rules in order to play in the NFL. I hope Mr. Jackson understands we all wish him to recover, once we get over the shock and anger but for now we Redskins fans are just beside ourselves wondering why he did it again!

    • rtcwon - Jul 10, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      I, for one, do not take a NFL statement on a failed drug test as a fact that XYZ player ‘choose to throw it all away for drugs’. Just saying their “testing” is a joke and ‘the rules to play in the NFL’ seem arbitrary and shift from player to player.

  4. abanig - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    There are no ripple affects IMO. Tanard Jackson should have never been counted to be a productive member of the redskins team ever!

    He was a stupid signing in 2012 and we were folkish for re-signing him after we cut him in March when he got reinstated.

    Those in the front office, the coaches media and fans who thought he’d make the team and contribute something are absolutely idiots!

    I’m so glad he’s gone, because I was tired of arguing with or reading articles or posts on message boards about how well he was doing and that he had a good shot to make the roster over our young developing talent like Akeem Davis, Rambo or Trenton Robinson which the finest effin thing I ever heard in my life! I couldn’t even believe fans and bloggers were suggesting such a thing or that Allen and coaches were thinking of keeping him on our 2014 roster.

    • manchild157 - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      Hey abanig- I don’t think anyone in the organization was ”counting” on Tanard to be productive. He had an upside as Raheem vouched for his playing ability.

      Just because you are tired of arguing against him on message boards isn’t an arguement over the validity of taking a chance on a player in an area of great need. Hey, I was pulling for the guy to stay clean and help as a backup Safety for a year or 2 and that makes no one an idiot.

      You sound like the kind of guy who enjoys kicking puppies. Get over yourself!

    • rtcwon - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      The reason I (and many other idiots like me) thought he would make the team and contribute is because he has more talent than ALL the other safeties on the roster PUT TOGETHER. Not that they can’t make do with whats left by investing in a pass rush. And my fingers are crossed that Thomas can become something nor am I rushing to judgement on the other young ‘developing talent’ so maybe try waiting for more details and the appeal process before you judge other people’s (including the GM) hope for actual talent lining up back there.

  5. kenlinkins - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Let’s be honest, the only reason T. Jackson was on the roster is the desperate need for better play at Safety. If the Redskins had 2 Pro Bowl type starters at Safety T. Jackson never would have been resigned (or even signed in 2012). It seems the Redskins just can not catch a break at Safety. There does seem to be some talent on the roster in general at DB. IMO the best Safety on the roster is Amerson but the Redskins have him at CB. I do hope that the Redskins will try guys like Crawford, Bridget JR, Amerson or Biggers at Safety when Breeland is getting some time at CB in Preseason games. The Clark – Meriweather combo at safety is not the long term answer, and P Thomas and Rambo have more question marks than the Riddler’s outfit! T. Jackson had a big chance to make this roster due to the lack of anyone stepping up and being able to claim the job, which IMO makes this 4th failed drug test very hard to understand by those of us who would do anything to have the skills required to play in the NFL.

    • manchild157 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      Absolutely Ken. You stated it best ”if we had 2 pro bowl safeties he never would have been signed”. We have been without a really good Safety for a long time and even Landry wasn’t the answer…great in the box but not so much in pass coverage. More questions than the Riddler’s outfit.haha! Archives

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