Jay Gruden on DeSean Jackson: 'I don't know about any red flags'
New Redskins coach Jay Gruden has no reservations -- either on or off the field -- about DeSean Jackson.
The Redskins headed into the offseason needing, among other things, a big-play threat. They found it in DeSean Jackson, whom they signed to a three-year, $24 million deal earlier this month after the Eagles sent him packing following six mostly productive seasons.
The reason Philly wanted to move on: According to second-year coach Chip Kelly, it had nothing to do with alleged gang ties but was "purely football" and "we just wanted to go in a different direction."
Meanwhile, new Redskins coach Jay Gruden has no reservations -- either on or off the field -- about Jackson, who ranked sixth in total value among all wideouts last season, according to Football Outsiders.
“I don’t know about any red flags,” Gruden said, via ESPN.com's John Keim. “I know he’s a great football player. We met him, I felt great about his character. Time will tell, but I don’t foresee any challenges in that regard. He’s a good player. He’s been productive. I think we’re excited to have him and anything off the field, we’re not concerned about.
“We’re counting on DeSean as a player and person moving forward that he’s going to be a fit in the locker room and obviously be a great asset off the field.”
Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said the team did its "due diligence" on Jackson before bringing him to Washington to bolster an offense that sputtered in 2013.
“We try to form our own opinions on people,” Allen said. “The way it transpired it gives us a full day just to get to know him. We feel he has a lot of good football in him and he’s a good young man. He wants to be great in the NFL."
Allen also said the opinion of other players also helped in the evaluation process.
“The player community is a very small group and everybody knows each other," Allen said. "They know the good and the bad and the indifferent. We felt very comfortable what we found out about him and felt very comfortable after talking to him and spending a day with him and seeing how he’d fit into the locker room. Our players embraced him.”
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