According to a report on ESPN.com by Jenna Laine and Tim McManus, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are attempting to trade wide receiver DeSean Jackson, possibly to Philadelphia, which is the team that drafted Jackson in 2008 where he spent the first six seasons of his NFL career before moving on to Washington.
ESPN.com reports that the Eagles would be Jackson’s preferred destination, and Philadelphia desires a depth threat at wide receiver after losing Mike Wallace to a broken leg last year.
Teams had inquired about trading for Jackson, one of the league’s all-time best deep threat receivers last year prior to the trade deadline in October, but general manager Jason Licht did not pull the trigger because the Bucs were trying to make a playoff run after a 2-0 start the season. With the Bucs having less than $3.5 million in salary cap room, the team desperately needs to carve out cap space and could do so by releasing or trading Jackson, whose $10 million salary is not guaranteed.
Licht and head coach Bruce Arians told PewterReport.com and other Tampa Bay media outlets at the NFL Scouting Combine that the Bucs would like to keep Jackson and that they had productive talks aimed at having Jackson be a part of Arians’ new offense, but stopped short of definitively saying that Jackson would remain in red and pewter.
“I don’t think you can talk anybody into it, they got to want to be here,” Arians said about Jackson, who told ESPN’s Josina Anderson in December that he wanted out of Tampa Bay at the end of the 2018 season. “And after that meeting, I thought it was extremely positive, I can’t speak for DeSean but for me, it was extremely positive, and we were looking for the future.
“Yeah, I mean that’s basically how the conversation ended. Obviously financial things, I know those things that all come at this type of the year, but as far as him having a role, me knowing what to do with him and respecting his abilities, I thought that was very positive.”
Despite the positive rhetoric from Licht and Arians, PewterReport.com’s Scott Reynolds didn’t believe the Bucs’ brass and suggested that Tampa Bay would likely part ways with Jackson, possibly via a trade in Pewter Nation Podcast Episode 110: SR Calls B.S. In Indy.
The Steelers agreed to trade 30-year old Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown to Oakland in exchange for third- and fifth-round picks. That may have set the market for the 31-year old Jackson.
UPDATE – March 11, 8:20 a.m.: NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo reports that the Redskins also have an interest in reuniting with Jackson if he were to be released and hit free agency. PewterReport.com can confirm Washington’s interest in Jackson, although the Redskins would prefer to not have to trade for him.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 11, 2019
Yet with the Eagles in the mix to potentially acquire him via a trade, the Redskins may have to jump into the trade conversation in order to keep Jackson away from an NFC East division rival. Having two potential suitors involved in the bidding, especially within the same division would drive the asking price up, which would be of great benefit to the Bucs.
Garafolo also reports that Jackson staying in Tampa Bay is not out of the question and PewterReport.com can confirm that. There is a scenario where Jackson stays with the Bucs and plays in Arians’ offense.
UPDATE – March 11, 12:50 p.m.: The Buccaneers are having difficulty trading Jackson due to his $10 million base salary. Teams are expecting Tampa Bay to part ways with Jackson due to their tight salary cap situation and may be waiting out the Bucs in this regard. As a result, a trade may not happen – at least this week.
Jackson tweeted out his goodbye to Tampa Bay on Twitter, but no official word yet on if he’s been released by the Buccaneers.
— Desean Jackson (@DeSeanJackson11) March 11, 2019