The Washington Redskins have a contract in principle for one year with OLB Rob Jackson for one year, with financial details unavailable at this time. The signing of Jackson, on the first day when contract negotiations could begin, comes on the heels of quick 3-year deals the Redskins reached with TE Logan Paulsen and FB Darrel Young, both restricted free agents. No deals are official until 4 PM Tuesday, when the start of free agency officially begins.
It was a career year for Jackson, who finally got substantial playing time when OLB Brian Orakpo suffered a season-ending chest injury in the second week of the season. Jackson started 14 of 16 games and posted career highs in tackles [37, up from 10], sacks [4.5, up from zero], passes defensed [6, up from zero], interceptions [4, up from zero] and forced fumbles [2, up from zero].
Jackson's deal, which should be finalized Saturday night or Sunday, will keep him in Washington while the Redskins figure out if Orakpo will come back from his season-ending injury and surgery as the player they had before or better. The Redskins do not want to commit themselves to a long-term contract with Orakpo if he is going to be a shadow of his former self. If Orakpo becomes a star again, Jackson can be allowed to leave after this one year deal expires. However, if Orakpo's play declines or if he gets injured again, and the Redskins decide he is not worthy of a long-term deal, Washington can let Orakpo depart in free agency and sign Jackson to a long-term deal or seek to replace them both. Either way, Jackson gives the Redskins a bit of security at outside linebacker opposite Ryan Kerrigan.