- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Interesting roster move down in Tampa Bay today, as the Buccaneers cut 26-year-old safety Tanard Jackson. They said it was because he failed a physical, but indications are that last year's shoulder injury won't keep him from helping someone in 2012. There's a new coach in Tampa Bay, and as Pat Yasinskas suggests in that link, it's possible that Jackson, who comes with plenty of issues, was cut to send a message to other players on the roster. But he's good enough and young enough that he's likely to find a home somewhere, and don't be surprised if you hear the Washington Redskins mentioned as a possible suitor.
The Redskins have major needs in the secondary, even after signing Brandon Meriweather and Cedric Griffin already this offseason. And their new secondary coach, Raheem Morris, was Jackson's head coach in Tampa Bay for the past three seasons. Morris and Jackson had a very strong relationship and Morris believes in him and has stood by him through his drug suspension. Surely, Morris believes he could keep Jackson in line and coach productivity out of him should the Redskins decide to give him a chance.
It's no slam dunk, though. Mike Shanahan has preached the value of character on his roster, and if he's got concerns about off-field issues or work ethic, he's not likely to bring in Jackson just because Morris likes the guy. It's Shanahan's team, not Morris' team, after all. But a drug suspension doesn't always equate to low character. It can, in certain circumstances, equate merely to immaturity or poor judgment. The 2012 Redskins will count, after all, on major contributions from Trent Williams and Fred Davis, each of whom missed the final four games of 2011 due to drug suspensions. Shanahan doesn't question their character -- merely their judgment. If he's convinced Jackson can help the team and won't hurt the locker room, he could pursue him. And it's a fair bet that Morris will at least try to convince him.