The Redskins and restricted free agent outside linebacker Rob Jackson are closing in on a one-year contract, according to a person who requested anonymity because the deal was not finalized late Saturday afternoon.
Jackson apparently has opted for a different type of contract than the three-year deals restricted free agents Logan Paulsen and Darrel Young agreed to earlier Saturday.
Redskins coaches consider Jackson a quality backup. Because he is behind first-string right outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, a former first-round pick, on the depth chart, a one-year deal would free him to seek more playing time next offseason.
As a restricted free agent, the Redskins could have protected Jackson’s rights by tendering him a qualifying offer worth $1.3 million and ensured themselves a seventh-round pick as compensation from any team that signed Jackson to an offer sheet. Although financial terms of Jackson’s one-year deal were not available, the value of the qualifying offer sets a framework.
Jackson, 27, started 14 games last season after first-string outside linebacker Brian Orakpo suffered a season-ending torn left pectoral muscle. He improved in all areas, particularly in run defense, as he amassed playing experience.
He had 4.5 sacks and four interceptions, including a fourth-quarter interception of Dallas quarterback Tony Romo that helped the Redskins clinch the NFC East division championship in the season finale.