The NFL has suspended S Tanard Jackson for rest of the 2010 season. Jackson had another violation of the substance abuse policy.
The NFL has suspended Buccaneers safety Tanard Jackson for the rest of the 2010 season and he is suspended indefinitely for another violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Jackson's suspension begins immediately, and he is eligible to apply for reinstatement 60 days before September 22, 2011. Jackson was suspended for the first four games of the 2009 season for violating the league's policy on substance abuse.
Due to Jackson being suspended at this time, Jackson will not incur a year of service time and he will not be a free agent after this season. Jackson had been in the final year of a four-year contract, but his suspension will make him under contract with the Buccaneers for the 2011 season. Bucs general manager Mark Dominik released this official statement.
“Tanard is a talented young man whom we hope is able to use this year to put his troubles behind him and ultimately return a strong man and player,” said Dominik. “It’s up to Tanard whether the team and our fans eventually realize his considerable promise.”
Jackson was a fourth-round pick of the Buccaneers in the 2007 NFL Draft. He has been the starter at free safety since his first game as a rookie. Last season in 12 games Jackson recorded 85 tackles, five interceptions, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. In two games this season Jackson recorded 13 tackles with two tackles for a loss and one fumble recovery.
Tampa Bay has safeties Sabby Piscitelli, Cody Grimm, and Corey Lynch in contention to replace Jackson as the starter at free safety. Piscitelli is the most experienced backup and started all 16 games last season at strong safety. He was replaced as the starter this year by free agent addition Sean Jones. In 2009 Piscitelli had 91 tackles with one tackle for a loss, two interceptions, and four passes defensed. Grimm is a rookie seventh-round pick out of Virginia Tech. Lynch is in his second NFL season and last year had one tackle on defense with one quarterback pressure and one pass defensed for the Buccaneers. The Bucs kept five safeties on their final 53-man roster, and due to Jackson's suspension they will likely be down to the standard four safeties. Because of Tampa Bay's loss of Jackson they will be able to add another player to the 53-man roster.
"I was happy that we did have five safeties that did play well this preseason and we will just move forward," said Dominik. "Talking to [head coach Raheem] Morris, obviously we have a position open. He is going to take the next few days to determine who is going to be the starter going forward."
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