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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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Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

As the discussion rages around what the Redskins should do with free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, $75 million cornerback Josh Norman made clear he wants the passer back. Norman explained that the 'Skins struggles should not be pinned to Cousins, but rather, a Washington defense that finished the year near the bottom of the NFL.

"We got to help him out of defense, and stop somebody on the field," Norman said on FS1 (click here for full video). "We did not help him out at all. I'll be honest with you. We got to do our job."

Norman's comments came during a spirited argument with Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock and Cris Carter in what amounted to a festival of hot takery. Whitlock's argument was that Cousins is not a franchise quarterback, and shoult not be paid as such, largely for losing the final two home games of the year against Carolina and the New York Giants.

Cousins passed for nearly 5,000 yards this year, a statitstic Norman pointed to in his defense of the QB. He also explained that Cousins still has room to grow.

"He only had two seasons," Norman said. "Cam Newton had five seasons."

Drafted in 2012, Cousins was just named the 'Skins starter in 2015. He's started every game the last two seasons and gone 17-16 while passing for more than 9,000 yards. Norman played with Newton in Carolina before signing with Washington last year, and got to watch the quarterback develop into the league MVP in 2015.

Norman described Cousins as a 'great guy' and leader in the locker room, but he allowed that, "I know a great guy don’t translate into wins. I'm not saying that."

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 9 worst play of 2016

Steelers at Redskins Week 1

10:18 left in Q2, Steelers ball 4th and 1 at the Redskins 29, Redskins leading 6-0

Ben Roethlisberger pass deep left to Antonio Brown for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

Tandler: Things were looking up for the Redskins prior to this, even though they were unable to punch the ball into the end zone in two forays deep into Steelers territory and had to settle for field goals (a taste of things to come all year). The Steelers drove down the field and went for it on fourth and one. Because Joe Barry opted not to have Josh Norman travel from side to side with Brown, it was Bashaud Breeland with one-on-one coverage on the right side. Brown beat Breeland and DeAngelo Hall was late giving safety help and Big Ben put the ball on the money. The score put the Steelers ahead to stay.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Finlay: It's easy to forget now that the Redskins had an early lead in the opener against Pittsburgh. In fact, their defense started well, until this point. In something that would be repeated throughout the year, the Steelers did not hesitate to go for it on 4th down against the Washington defense. Breeland was in pretty good position on the ball, though Roethlisberger's throw was right on the money. It would be only one more week until Josh Norman would then start traveling to cover other team's best receivers. Beyond the immediate impact of this play, it also seemed to stay with Breeland as he struggled somewhat in the first half of the season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!