WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The Washington Redskins signed Tanard Jackson on Friday, three days after he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The move reunites the safety with his former coach Raheem Morris who signed on as the Redskins defensive backs coach in January.
Jackson started in each of the 56 games he appeared in since being selected by the Buccaneers in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Syracuse.
Although a capable player on the field, Jackson carries a significant amount of risk off the field.
The 26-year-old Silver Spring native has twice been suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. His first infraction sidelined him for four games in 2009. The second violation cost him more than a year out in 2010.
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Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik told the Tampa Tribune the team’s decision to release Jackson was unrelated to the suspensions.
In February, the Redskins hired former defensive end Phillip Daniels as Director of Player Development. Daniels, who was highly respected in the locker room during his playing career, is expected to work with players such as Jackson to keep their off field troubles at bay.
Left tackle Trent Williams and tight end Fred Davis were suspended for the final four games of last season for similar infractions. Although another violation will result in an automatic one-year suspension for the two, the Redskins placed their franchise tag on Davis this offseason.
Jackson, who had off-season shoulder surgery, attended high school in Potomac.
Over the span of his five-year NFL career, Jackson amassed 239 total tackles, 10 interceptions, two interceptions returned for touchdowns and 27 passes defensed. He recently attributed poor tackling last season to a torn rotator cuff.
The Redskins also signed free agent safety Madieu Williams this week. Williams, who also has local ties having played collegiately at the University of Maryland, could start at free safety this season.