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Should the Redskins keep Tanard Jackson on the roster?

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Should the Redskins keep Tanard Jackson on the roster?

According to multiple media reports, the NFL is going to reinstate safety Tanard Jackson, who has been on a substance policy related suspension since August of 2012, to the league on Tuesday.

He is under the same one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Redskins that was essentially frozen when he was suspended. Adding his $735,000 salary to the cap will mean a net increase of $165,000 to the cap. The Redskins are sitting with almost $2.6 million in cap space so finances will not be an impediment to Jackson’s return.

And it’s not like the safety position is stacked with talented players. Projected starters Brandon Meriweather and Ryan Clark are on the far side of 30. Phillip Thomas, a fourth-round draft pick a year ago, has yet to take an NFL snap after missing last year with an injury. Bacarri Rambo, Thomas’ draft classmate, struggled mightily when he played last year. Jose Gumbs and Trenton Robinson are suited to be backups and special teams players.

Despite the money and depth chart situations greasing the skids for Jackson’s return, the Redskins should think long and hard about bringing Jackson back into the fold. You don’t need to have a real long memory to recall how badly Jackson burned the Redskins in 2012. Between his suspension and Meriweather’s injury the Redskins had to play the season without a starting caliber safety in the lineup. Although they did manage to win the NFC East, an additional win or two during their first nine games, when they went 3-6, would have helped playoff seeding, perhaps getting them a first-round bye.

The bottom line is that they counted on Jackson and he let them down.

Should the Redskins trust that Jackson will stay on the straight and narrow? To put a twist on the old saying, burn me once, shame on you; burn me twice, shame on me.

Even if he is not a starter, if Jackson is on the team, the team will be counting on him to be there for whatever role he is supposed to fulfill. Jackson apparently has a strong support group around him but he presumably had many of the same people on his side in 2012 and they weren’t able to keep him on the right path.

It would be a good story if Jackson could resume his NFL career after missing two full seasons and playing in just 12 games since the 2009 season. But the Redskins are not in the good story business. They need to do what’s best for the Redskins, not what’s best for Jackson. What’s best for the Redskins might be cutting Jackson loose and thereby avoiding a situation where they have to count on him.

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Need to Know: Betting on the Redskins' playoff race outcomes

Need to Know: Betting on the Redskins' playoff race outcomes

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 3, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Arizona Cardinals.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No availability

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 8; Panthers @ Redskins 16; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), DE Anthony Lanier (leg)
Questionable: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back)
Final injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals
FOX, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman
Line: Cardinals -2.5

Resetting the playoff odds

The Redskins start their stretch drive to the playoffs tomorrow. The will play five games in 29 days. After that, they will have either earned the right to keep playing or will they go home.

Let’s get out the imaginary $100 in casino chips and look at the various possibilities of the finish to the season and spread out the chips based on how likely each scenario is. As always, you are welcome to jump into the comments if you agree or disagree.

Win NFC East, $0—This might be worth a buck or two but this place doesn’t have any chips smaller than $5 and it’s not worth investing even that much in the chance of this happening. The scenario would have to be the Redskins winning out, the Cowboys losing out, and the Giants losing at least two more games. I’d put something on the first scenario and a few chips on the last one but no way is Dallas going 0-4. Keeping my chips in my pocket on this one.

Wild card as No. 5 seed, $40—To do this the Redskins would have to stay ahead of the wild card contenders behind them (see next scenario) and make up a game and a half on the Giants. They play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins would have to make up one game between now and then and they could then determine their status on January 1 at FedEx Field. The Giants go to Pittsburgh on Sunday and host Dallas a week after that so we will see how that looks in a couple of weeks. As of now, the No. 6 seed would go to Detroit for the first round of the playoffs while the No. 5 would play the Falcons in Atlanta. That, of course, is subject to change.

Wild card as No. 6 seed, $35—I think getting the five seed is slightly more likely than getting the six since I think the Giants are a mirage. But even if New York keeps it going, the Redskins can clinch a spot by running the table in their last five games. That would make them 11-4-1 and no other wild card contender could catch them. If they win four of five, only the Bucs can catch them and it would take a 5-0 finish for Tampa Bay. Winning three of five still gives them a good shot at getting in although at that point you are also opening the door for the Vikings, Saints, Packers, and Eagles to catch fire and jump ahead of them.

Out of playoffs, $25—I might be putting a little too much here but it’s the NFL and it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that the Redskins could finish 2-3 and miss out altogether. Their margin for error is slim and an injury here and a bad break there could have them on the outside looking in.

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When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon just filled out his ballot for the annual NFL Top 100 Players list.

Let's just say it's pretty one-dimensional. 

Straight like that

A photo posted by Pierre Garcon (@pierregarcon) on

As you can see, the form asks guys to rank who they consider the top 20 players in the league. But instead of naming 20 different players, Garcon voted for the same player 20 times. Talk about stuffing the ballot box. 

No surprise, but he's hyping his quarterback Kirk Cousins. 

Cousins is having a career year with the Redskins. His stock has soared over the last three weeks especially. Take a look at his numbers in that span: 84 completions on 116 attempts for 1,086 yards (72 percent), eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

Those efforts earned the Michigan State product NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors. And more importantly, Cousins has the Redskins in favorable position to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.

So far this season, Garcon has caught 52 passes from Cousins for 636 yards and two scores. 

MORE REDSKINS: Reed out, 7 other Redskins questionable