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 OverTheCap.com, 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.
HEAD COACH DIRK KOETTER ON SIGNING DESEAN JACKSON
“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.”
GENERAL MAAGER JASON LICHT ON SIGNING DESEAN JACKSON
“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 PewterReport.com.