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Jon Jansen writes about being released

(2008 photo by Preston Keres - TWP))

A day and a year after being released by the Redskins, Jon Jansen wrote about the experience for the Detroit Free Press last week. Sounds like he still isn't quite over the shock. The veteran tackle, who will be writing stories and answering questions for the Freep all season, opened his first piece by recapping the end of his Redskins' tenure:

It's not personal. It's just business.

These are the words that kept repeating in my head almost exactly one year ago today. I was being released from the Washington Redskins after 10 years of service.

Not personal? After giving so much of myself, physically and emotionally, to an organization, how was I supposed to see myself as a business transaction?

I had survived six head coaches in those 10 years, battled through a season with two broken hands and recovered from an ankle injury that had twisted my foot 180 degrees. None of that was viewed as having a personal connection to the organization or the city.

Plenty of people across the state of Michigan can attest that no matter what the circumstances are, when you lose your job, it is very personal for you and your family.

Look, the modern NFL is a brutal, heartless, humorless, compassionless deal. Guys wreck their bodies, and then are shown the door, unable to retire with the franchises they've killed themselves for. It happens every year, and it's probably not great for either fans or players.

But "not personal" in this case clearly means the Redskins were cutting ties not out of personal animus or character flaws but because they needed to get younger and cheaper on the line. It doesn't mean that Jansen had no personal connection to the organization or the city, or that he hadn't given everything he had during a stand-up career. And it's not exactly like being a laid-off auto worker, since Jansen had a new job within 24 hours.

Anyhow, it doesn't sound like Jansen will be lining up to sign up for Redskins alumni events just yet.

(Via Hogs Haven)

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 1, 2010; 12:03 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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In a sense, it's like "Get over it"....if it happens to Emmitt Smith, Art Monk, etc, it can and did happen to you. In another, I can't help but think that an old Jon Jansen still could have helped this team last year.

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | June 1, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

how many games did jon jansen start for detroit? 2. our line and their line were pretty interchangable and bad so he wouldnt have done much here either and we would have been paying him infinitely more than he got from detroit. its a business jon and the team wanted to save money and not pay you an ton of money.

Posted by: MondoTE11 | June 1, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I have 20 plus years working for a state entity and I may not make it the full 30 years, given budgetary issues. Jansen could essentially retire, given the money he has made.
Many of us are looking at the "business" end as well, and will not have that luxury.

Posted by: TimDz | June 1, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"A day and a year after being released by the Redskins,..."

LOL, a day AND A YEAR.

Dude, seriously, you're employed now, who cares?

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | June 1, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Like a lot of Redskins during his tenure it was a lot of organizational turmoil, and I always wished the players were in a better atmosphere. A few like Jansen after their release take pleasure in seeing the Skins fail. Thats their personal problem, he was paid very well and his skills deteriorated and deserved to be replaced. I liked Jansen, he was a Redskin at heart but is now bitter against them thru today. He needs to look in a mirror.

Posted by: DMcCall2 | June 1, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Yes Jon, but you made more money in a couple seasons than most people make in their lifetime.

Dry those tears with cash.

Posted by: Scoonie97 | June 1, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

i'm sure when jansen was negotiating his contracts with the redskins he would say "hey, its nothing personal, just business". but when the business side rears its head against him, its "who, what about the personal side of things."

jj was a great player for the skins, but he's not the first guy who ever got dumped when he got old. happens all the time and if you dont like it, go work for the post office where you can work for the rest of your life.

btw, during all that time when he was hurt and then a backup, he got paid fully as if he were still a starter. jon, please stop.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | June 1, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Definitely smacks of whining. His time here was appreciated but, seriously, when the Skins let him go he couldn't even be a starter for the worst team in the league.

And those of us living paycheck to paycheck don't really appreciate this crybaby stuff from a millionaire. So he worked through injury, like he was paid to do (handsomely, I might add). It's like he wants a medal for NOT robbing a bank.

Posted by: shanks1 | June 1, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Not to be unkind but what did he expect? He wasn't playing for the Squire during the days when you could stash a guy or three. It is what it is.

Obviously he never saw the movie 'North Dallas Forty'.

Posted by: kahlua87 | June 1, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

JJ, You should have taken up golf rather than football. Whiner.

Posted by: WestCoastBullet | June 1, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Don't understand the mocking of Jansen. He shouldn't have been cut. If anything, they could have asked him to restructure his contract to lessen the cap impact. We could have used him last year after all those injuries along the line. He was always a better run blocker than Heyer and we weren't opening up to many holes along that line last year. Hope he retires as a Redskin.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 1, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I work for a company that was bought by a larger company. I'm going to lose my job and it's "just business". Still, even though I knew exactly what would happen and I'm not starving, it was harder emotionally than I thought it would be. I'm sure Jon Jansen will get over it eventually, but I can't blame him for taking it hard and I bet there are lots of folks in the Detroit area who can relate.

Posted by: didnik | June 1, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Jansen had a good career with the Skins. But the last few years, it was painfully obvious he lost quite a bit due to injuries. Any kind of mediocre defensive end could dominate him in a game. For him to be expecting to be continually paid like a top tier Tackle when his performance was horrendous for a few seasons and showing no signs of improving, what does he expect. He really should have been cut a few seasons ago.

Posted by: al_kohaulic | June 1, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Get over it Jansen you were a bum the last couple of years whether it was injury or not...Stop whining an take the high road like JC...

Prove yourself the Skins play Detroit again, you won last year Zorn his whack play calling an ineffective discipline are gone ...If you got so much left Jansen ill let you know now the Skins dee will be coming after ya

Posted by: BeatDontStop | June 1, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

He took the job from somebody else, and it was taken from him. Must be very hard, but it has to happen as long as people get older.

Posted by: markfromark | June 1, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I predict he'll have ample time for his newspaper column after getting axed by the Lions this summer

Posted by: buster_c | June 1, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

How do I get a job with the Post? It looks like most of the articles are cut and paste jobs taking 20-30 minutes.

Posted by: nativedc | June 1, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about Jansen now? He is no longer wearing the burgundy and gold!! I hope that Orakpo destroys him when we play Detroit!! HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!!

Posted by: sirmixx01 | June 1, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

These athletes make me sick. They always compare themselves to the normal working stiff until it suits their purpose. Nobody in the work force gets the money they make and that alone makes it no comparison. Athletes leave a team in a heartbeat for more money. Loyalty? I don't think so. If that bum Jansen gave back a $Mil for every sack he gave up, you could pay off the national debt. He was cut because he stinks.

Posted by: lp_lodestar | June 1, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't see what's so bad about the guy having some feelings for the team he played for for 10 years. We usually complain when athletes don't show enough emotion for the franchise.

How do I get a job with the Post? It looks like most of the articles are cut and paste jobs taking 20-30 minutes.

Posted by: nativedc

Sorry bud, you gotta be able to use Google to answer your own questions too.

Posted by: KeithMcMillan | June 1, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Don't understand the mocking of Jansen. He shouldn't have been cut. If anything, they could have asked him to restructure his contract to lessen the cap impact. We could have used him last year after all those injuries along the line. He was always a better run blocker than Heyer and we weren't opening up to many holes along that line last year. Hope he retires as a Redskin.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 1, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I never saw a good explanation of how much cap savings the release gave the Skins. As far as I could tell, getting rid of Jansen just opened up a roster spot. The money seemed pretty break even; they were paying him the same not to be around.

So yeah, not keeping him around and starting Heyer was something of a slap in the face. He deserved better than what he got.

Posted by: WorstSeat | June 1, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't hear the whine many of you are citing. I hear bitter, though. Who wouldn't be bitter after being cut? And I'm (not really that) surprised so many "fans" think Jansen getting cut is super and was handled perfectly.

Are these the same fans who hate Snyder and Vinnie? Why do those two get the benefit of the doubt when it's Jansen's job we're talking about? (Um, oh, I know: Hypocrites!)

The reaction reminds me of when Brian Mitchell was cut. All the sentiment was that he was washed up. Well, first of all, he wasn't. Second of all MY allegiance, as a Redskin fan, was to HIM, not the owner or the racist logo.

The "people" claiming Jansen needs to "get over it" must have some allegiance to some aspect of "The Redskins." I'm just confused as to what aspect keeps you identifying yourself as a Redskin fan. Are you?

Woulda been nice to cut Samuels the same way, right? "Oh, sorry about your neck, tough break. Nothing personal, just business, you're fired."

And are these the same morons who think Snyderatto did Jansen right as the ones who want to bring Dub Wiyyiams back to the team?

OH, really? Why!?

And by the way, WHO was the guy who replaced Jansen, anyway? Anybody? Class? Beuller?

It was Stephon Higher, who lasted a few games and looked like hammered dung while he lasted. Then it was a revolving door of bums: Rhinehart, Montgomery, Mike Williams.

Yeah, flying out to Michigan to fire Jansen was probably the high point of the Snyderatto Era. And all the REAL fans LOVED it. It's just how we roll here in REAL America.


Posted by: Thinker_ | June 2, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse


As someone who liked Jon Jansen when he was here, I can say, I thought it was time for the team to move in another, "younger" direction. This could have been done differently however, with Jon Jansen. In the 2009 NFL Draft they didn't address the O~Line needs so getting "younger" didn't seem to be the way they were going. The Redskins in fact (until this 2010 NFL Draft) weren't addressing the O~Line needs at all. Because of that fact, cutting Jon Jansen lose last season was NOT a sound thought. After the way the O~Line struggled, who REALLY could say the Redskins were better off for cutting him?

As someone who played both football and baseball for many, many years, didn't get paid a great sum of money for my efforts and I am now injured badly enough that it looks as though I can no longer work in my chosen field (baseball) of post playing career work... I can say, IT's PERSONAL!!! I'm nearly 54 years old and YES, like Jon Jansen, it's personal. I DO UNDERSTAND!!!

Bob Schnebly

Posted by: StarLyrara | June 2, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Teams are about people, city, history, loyalty. Jansen was a great player for the Redskins and, as a fan, I hate the business side of the NFL. Of course it's a reality that team owners and players are all going to do what they can to make the most money. But, that's not why I watch the game. The greed turns me off whether its on the part of the player (Haynesworth) or the team.

Jansen has every right to be mad. Just because there is a harsh reality to the business side of the game doesn't mean he has to like it and it doesn't mean that we as fans should turn on players (as some posting here have done) who say they don't like it either.

He was released to get younger and to be cheaper, but there is a way to show respect to a player who has dedicated his whole career to the team. Jansen is not a guy who came in in free agency and demanded a boat load of money. He was homegrown. Darrell Green is my favorite Redskin of all time, both because he was great on and off the field, and because he never wore another uniform. We need more players willing to do that and more teams that WANT their players to do that.

Posted by: washingtonfan-ngg | June 2, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

The line from "North Dallas Forty" that comes to mind is this-

"Every time we say it's a game you say it's a business, and every time we say it's a business you say it's a game."

Posted by: jcurrin | June 2, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Jon Jansen was an unspectacular lineman. He wasn't a 'locker room hero.' He never exemplified the 'local lifer who led his beloved team to greater heights.' He never came across as the 'really likeable, workmanlike dude who more than made up for a lack of ability with grit & determination.' He truly isn't anything beyond a guy who was here for a long time and always overestimated what he deserved. Even if it wasn't as obvious, he was a large part of what's been wrong with the Redskin team culture.

I was glad he was gone and disappointed it wasn't years earlier and whenever I saw people in a Jansen official jersey I always considered it the biggest jersey foul of all. If Jim didn't cut him, Mike sure as hell would have.

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | June 2, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

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