Ever since the Post came out with an article saying that suspended free safety Tanard Jackson is still under contract to the Redskins I have occasionally had fans ask me if he could fill the Redskins hole at free safety.

The answer is that he might be able to be part of the solution but the Redskins can’t count on him.

The former Buc is serving his third suspension for violation the league’s drug policy and his second indefinite suspension. Jackson is eligible to be reinstated on August 31, after all of the offseason program and training camp are over. Until he is reinstated he can’t have any contact with the team and he can’t set foot on team property.

He could be reinstated on time or the suspension could go on past August 31 and ino the season. Remember this is his second indefinite suspension so the bar for reinstatement could be higher than it was before.

The bottom line is that there is no guarantee that Jackson will be reinstated before the season starts and even if he is he will have missed all of the offseason program and training camp. The Redskins simply can’t go through the offseason with him penciled in on the depth chart. They need to proceed as though he will not be with the team this year. If he can come back and they work him out under a roster exemption and they determine that he can help, that will be a bonus.

Jackson’s contract, which calls for a salary of $700,000, does not count against the salary cap as long as he is under suspension.