The Washington Redskins have been non-stop of late, in advance of the first day of the off-season conditioning program which starts on Monday.
Friday was the day that just about every Redskins fan had been waiting for. London Fletcher returned 'home' or at least where he has called home for the last five seasons.
The Redskins also officially announced the signing of safety Tanard Jackson, who was drafted by Bruce Allen and enjoyed his best success in a suspension filled career under new Redskins secondary coach, Raheem Morris.
As you probably know, Fletcher led the NFL in tackles at 166 last year, with 1.5 sacks, 8 passes defensed, two interceptions and three forced fumbles.
His statistics pale in comparison to his leadership, and the rock of stability that he offers the Redskins locker room, the defensive unit as a whole, and of course the franchise. The positive momentum the Redskins generated from the trade up to the # 2 pick, to presumably select Robert Griffin III, would have severely strained by the loss of Fletcher.
The Redskins, quite simply, had very little choice. As ESPN 980 had reported earlier on Friday, the team worked out former New York Giants linebacker, Jonathan Goff and special teams standout, Tim Dobbins, another interior linebacker who subsequently re-signed with the Houston Texans on Thursday night.
The book is not closed on Goff, by any means, as the Redskins do need depth at inside linebacker, with Perry Riley and Lorenzo Alexander the only known possibilities at this point, unless the Redskins have plans to convert Markus White or bring back a veteran free agent like Rocky McIntosh or Keyaron Fox.
It is possible that McIntosh could come back, despite his frustrations in the second-half of the year, and the incident that occurred on New Years Eve in Philadelphia (broken curfew) that ESPN 980, first reported.
Fletcher or any Redskins official, were not available for comment with the exception of what Fletcher tweeted on his official account, "RT: @LFletcher59 Redskins fans your captain is back! #HTTR #Resign59" in one tweet, and then followed up with "RT@LFletcher59: Excited about returning to the Skins! The support I've received from the fans didn't go unnoticed!"
As for the signing of Tanard Jackson, the Redskins issued a press release, which of course doesn't mention that he has been suspended twice for violations of the NFL substance abuse program, but did tout all of the positives of his addition.
"Jackson (6-0, 200) spent his previous five NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being selected in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Syracuse. He has started all 56 regular season games in which he has appeared, and recorded 239 tackles, 10 interceptions, five forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns.
Last season, Jackson started in 10 games and registered 35 tackles, two interceptions, one fumble recovery and three passes defensed, according to NFL GSIS.
In 2009, Jackson tied for the team lead in interceptions (five) despite missing four games. Coaches credited him with a career-high 102 tackles in 2008, a season in which he started in all 16 regular season games.
As a rookie, Jackson started in all 16 regular season games as a member of the Buccaneer’s defense that finished second in the NFL in yards allowed per game (278.4) and first in passing yards allowed per game (170.5).
Jackson played collegiately at Syracuse where he was a second-team All-Big East selection at cornerback as a senior. He appeared in 45 games with 34 starts and totaled 165 tackles, 2.5 sacks, five interceptions and 14 passes defensed. Jackson attended Bullis School in Potomac, Md."
Jackson, the Silver Spring native, joins other new additions to the secondary, Madieu Williams, Leigh Torrence, Brandon Meriweather, and Cedric Griffin, to go along with holdovers from last year.