I have long opposed the idea of the Redskins mortgaging away the future in a last ditch effort to fill a need in training camp. This approach failed miserably with Jason Taylor when the 'Skins gave up a pair of draft picks to acquire Taylor in training camp in 2008.
Not only does adding new blood this late potentially destroy the atmosphere in the locker room, but it also can destroy the future if it involves sacrificing draft picks.
Some teams horde picks as if a 10-century shortage of college players is soon to come. The Redskins are not one of those teams. Even in this new regime they have given up picks for Donovan McNabb and Jammal Brown.
So the Redskins' reported interest in San Diego WR Vincent Jackson is not surprising even though they will likely have to give up next year's first round pick in the deal. The Redskins do need receivers, and Jackson is the premiere name floating around the NFL. The Chargers are "opposed" to trading Jackson according to Jason La Canfora, but the Redskins are a team who would be interested in acquiring Jackson.
Jackson is coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons, and possesses impressive physical characteristics that make him highly coveted. He stands at 6-5, 230, and is an athletic, fast guy. He refused to sign his one-year restricted free-agent tender this offseason and has threatened to sit out the season.
Washington has 11 receivers on the roster already but the group doesn't really have a number one receiver. Santana Moss is a capable number two, but he doesn't really have the size to consistently beat double teams. Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly have yet to assert themselves while the rest of the group consists of guys who just aren't talented enough to be starters in the NFL at this point in their careers.
Jackson would be an instant upgrade, which is why he's so tempting, but let's be honest: the Redskins can't afford to give up a first rounder for a receiver. And there's no way around it; San Diego expects at least one first round pick in this deal.
It's a tempting move for the Redskins, but next season there will be needs to address and Mike Shanahan is already a third and a fourth round pick in the hole. So why compromise the long-term plan to bring in a temperamental player on such short notice?
The Redskins have been plagued for years by the lack of depth at receiver so adding Jackson could remedy that situation, yet there remains the fact that his addition could create problems as well as solve them. Jackson's attitude in regards to sitting out the season if the Chargers don't offer him a long-term deal is certainly a red-flag in my mind, and of course you don't want to disrupt what appears to be a happy locker room at Redskins Park.
Stay tuned for what could turn into the biggest splash of the summer. Somehow I wouldn't rule it out.