"It's a great signing by the Redskins," former Colts GM Bill Polian said on NFL Live. "He's got great size, great speed. Played at Division III Mount Union College, just now coming into his own in the NFL. He's got world-class speed. In the west coast offense, where they look for guys who can catch the ball across the middle and run with it after the catch, Pierre Garcon is a perfect fit."
Former Charger Vincent Jackson was the best player left on the free-agent wide receiver market and the No. 1 guy on the wish list of most Redskins fans. But this quick move by Washington indicates that perhaps Jackson's talks with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are pretty far down the road.
Garcon has had his moments, to be sure, but he's never been a real No. 1 wide receiver and there's nothing to prove he can handle that kind of role. He flourished at times with Peyton Manning throwing him the ball, but he was operating in a system in which he was usually no better than the No. 3 target behind Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark.
As Rich Campbell of the Washington Times pointed out in the wake of this news, Garcon averaged 5.2 yards after the catch in 2011, compared with 3.7 for Jackson and 3.8 for Washington's Santana Moss.
Shanahan did tell me in December that he was looking for a playmaker who could catch the ball on a slant and "take it the rest of the way," and that YAC number indicates Garcon could be such a guy. He turns 26 in August and could break out if given the opportunity as a No. 1.