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“Too many Jackson’s, one had to go!”

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It seems like as a Redskins fan lately I have been bombarded with stories about DeSean Jackson hanging at clubs, hitting on Rhianna, throwing up gang signs, etc.

However it’s a different Jackson that made the news again, that of course is “Redskins” free safety Tanard Jackson who was just handed down his fourth and most likely final suspension from the NFL.

Think of when you were a child and the dreams you had when it came to sports, whether it was shooting a three-pointer in the NBA finals or scoring a goal in a Stanley Cup. For me it was always two scenarios, the first was hitting a homerun to win the World Series for the Baltimore Orioles and having Cal Ripken high five me at home plate. The other was to score the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl, as a Redskin! Then go celebrate with “The Posse”.

These dreams might not have been much different from Tanard Jackson who was born and raised in Silver Spring, MD and grew up watching the Washington Redskins play. Tanard played High School football at Bullis in Potomac, MD; he broke some records and went on to play at Syracuse before being drafted in to the NFL in 2007. Many people like me could only dream of the opportunity to play in the NFL and get paid to play the game they love.

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Jackson was drafted by the Bucs in 2007 and played in all 32 games during his first two seasons in Tampa Bay, in his third year (2009) he served a four game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Jackson was still able to record 60 tackles and 5 interceptions in just 12 games. Many people felt that Jackson had learned his lesson, put his suspension behind him and was ready to be a playmaker in the NFL. Unfortunately for Jackson the euphoria was short lived and the NFL once again suspended Jackson, only playing a combined 12 games in 2010 and 2011. He was subsequently released by the Bucs in 2011.

It was at this time Jackson was signed by the Washington Redskins despite his off the field issues and suspensions. He’s come back home to play for the team he watched growing up. Sports writers and fans wanted to see him succeed above anyone else when he joined the squad, between his ties to the DC area as well as the fact that he could help improve the mediocre defensive back position. Sadly for Jackson it just wasn’t in the cards as he was suspended before the 2012 season started.

Jackson was then reinstated to play in 2013 and was once again suspended and did not play in the 2013 season. The stat line for Jackson as a Redskin reads as 0 of 32 games played, 0 tackles, 0 anything at all. Tanard’s saga continued when the NFL reinstated him in May of 2014. The Redskins chose to release Jackson and resign him the next day in hopes he would be a playmaker in 2014.

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Those hopes were dashed on Wednesday when the NFL suspended Jackson indefinitely due to substance abuse issues. His forth suspension and straw that broke the NFL’s back. Whether this suspension is different, like Jackson claims or not. It’s obvious that Jackson has a lot of demons to deal with in his life. I show a lack of sympathy for Jackson and most athletes because I feel that they’re wasting God given talent. Jackson may be a waste of talent, possibly a waste of a roster spot, but no one is a waste of life. This may be the last time we hear from Tanard Jackson as an NFL player, I hope we do hear that the 28 year old is able to pick up his life and get his addiction in check.

-Brian Hunt
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This entry was posted on July 10, 2014 by in NFL, Redskins Football and tagged , , , , .

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