The winds of DeSean Jackson in Tampa Bay started when SR wrote his Fab 5 on the topic back in early February. Now, on the first day of the NFL’s 2017 year, the Bucs turned that imagination into reality by signing Jackson to a three-year, $35mil deal – $20mil guaranteed. 

According to, Jackson’s deal makes him the seventh highest wide receiver in the league, which is three spots higher than the position Vincent Jackson was in with his former contract with the Buccaneers.

As the 2016 season unfolded and the Buccaneers saw their offensive weapons dwindle away, both from injury and performance. In response, head coach Dirk Koetter and general manager Jason Licht made it their top priority to get quarterback Jameis Winston and the rest of the offense more suitable and explosive weapons for the 2017 season – weapons you’d expect to see on a playoff-caliber team.


“DeSean is exactly the type of dynamic playmaker we have been targeting for our offense. DeSean brings a veteran presence and a big-play mentality that fits in perfectly with our offensive philosophy. He is a tough-minded competitor who has the game-breaking speed and pass-catching ability that stretches the defense and creates matchup problems.”


“It is rare to find a player in free agency with the combination of speed and natural playmaking ability of a DeSean Jackson. DeSean is a smart, gifted athlete who has averaged more than 17 yards per reception throughout his nine-year career and brings the type of veteran experience and deep threat receiving ability that will have an immediate impact on our offense.”

The addition of Jackson certainly fills that role, but within that, he brings an element to offense that the Buccaneers franchise simply has not had for a long, long time. Since coming into the league in 2008, Jackson has been one of the top deep-ball receivers in the NFL. In fact, since he first game, no receiver in the entire league has caught more 50-yard touchdown passes than Jackson. In his nine season, six with Philly and three with Washington, Jackson has never played a year where he hasn’t caught at least one pass for over 60 yards (in many cases, it has been multiple passes per year of such distance).

Since 2008, Jackson’s 112 receptions of 25+ yards, 37 receptions of 50+ yards and 17.7 yards per reception average (min. 60 career catches) all lead the NFL. The 37 catches of 50+ yards are 14 more than any other player during that span, while his five 1,000-yard receiving seasons and 32 100-yard receiving games are each tied for the fifth-most. Additionally, his per catch averages in 2010 (22.5) and 2014 (20.9) rank second and fourth, respectively, among all single seasons over that nine-year period.

As the news became official that Jackson would be bringing his talents to the Bay, the team’s franchise wide receiver Mike Evans – who had to be happy he was getting some help after last season – chimed in with his excitement. “[Jacksons’s] speed and big-play ability will help our team greatly. I think it’s an awesome pick up.”

Next week, in Buccaneers beat reporter Trevor Sikkema’s Cover 3 column, he’s going to take Jackson’s recent years into the film room as a part of his All-Twenty Tuesday series to see just how Jackson fits into this Tampa Bay, and what he could bring to the table that Bucs fans haven’t seen. Only available on

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at:
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4 years ago

I like the signing, but feel like we over paid. Not that his production hasn’t been there, but he is north of 30.

Reply to  Destino102
4 years ago

Only $20 M guaranteed and 3 years, probably at least a little back end weighted average of around $10-11M per year guaranteed. Pending receipt of details.

Not an overpayment at all for his production. His teammate Pierre Garcon, who had basically the same yardage but less on explosive plays – which is precisely what Coach Koetter says we both need and have lacked – as DJax last season got $16M guaranteed in just the first year.

Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

I think it is a little steep also considering for 2 mil more we could have had Jefferys. WRs tend to decline rapidly after 30 which is how old Jackson is. Garcon is making just over 9 mil a season compared to Jackson who is making close to 12 mil a season. That 2.5 mil difference is big when considering they had almost the exact same production. Its a lot smarter to give more of the guaranteed money up front so you can cut them in a season or 2 with no cap penalty if production declines. I would have… Read more »

Reply to  wnb0395
4 years ago

We could have gotten Jefferys for one year…and then have to pay him double what we’re giving Desean to get him to stay. Desean was the better move. It’s clear we wanted to go after speed and not another big semi slow guy. While it is a lot of money, we have the cap room and it fills a large need on our offense.

Reply to  Brobear
4 years ago

We could have gotten Jeffrey for multiple years but no team wanted to risk multiple years with his past. That’s why he settled for a 1 year deal to prove himself. We def could have gotten him for 2 or 3 years around 14 mil a year, which would be equivalent to 15 mil a year in philly when you factor in no state taxes in Florida. Even if Jeffery has a pro bowl season, there is no way Jeffrey makes more than 16 mil a year next year. I think an extra 2-3 mil a year is worth a… Read more »

4 years ago

ABout what I expected the Bucs to pay for him. It’s a short deal and 20 mill is probably pro rated over the first two years as in Bucs fashion. He probably won’t see that third year. We have speed and we needed it.. But I don’t think this will deter the Bucs from drafting a receiver either. Zay Jones is one who could be a good pickup in the 3rd and learn from DeSean and Big Mike. Let’s just hope Jackson brings a positive attitude and good work ethic , cause his talent is there. If we get three… Read more »

Reply to  cgmaster27
4 years ago

I thought $30-33 M. A little steep, but okay.

Reply to  cgmaster27
4 years ago

Yes to Zay Jones as our #4 WR, that guy is going to be a very good pro