Tampa Bay released wide receiver Dexter Jackson Monday in order to trim its roster down to the NFL-mandated number of 75. A 2008 second-round pick, Jackson played in seven games for the Bucs and was sidelined in preseason with an ankle injury.
The Dexter Jackson experiment is officially over in Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers released Jackson Monday in order to trim their roster down to the NFL-mandated number of 75 players.
Unfortunately for the Bucs, the experiment required a significant investment in the form of a 2008 second-round pick.
Jackson was the 58th overall player taken in the 2008 NFL Draft. He played collegiately at Appalachian State.
The 5-foot-9, 182-pound Jackson was drafted by former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen to become a return specialist, a role he played at Appalachian State, but didn't necessarily excel in, evidenced by his 17.8-yard kickoff return average.
Jackson, who ran an impressive 4.27 40-yard dash time at the combine, struggled as a rookie, sustaining a serious hamstring injury in rookie mini-camp. He did, however, have an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown in a preseason game vs. Houston.
Through seven regular season games, Jackson was not used on offense and averaged 23.4 yards per kickoff return and 4.9 yards per punt return.
Midway through the 2008 regular season, the Bucs benched Jackson and replaced him with fellow rookie Clifton Smith, an undrafted free agent running back. Smith averaged 27.6 yards per kickoff return and 14.1 yards per punt return while scoring two touchdowns on special teams en route to the Pro Bowl.
Jackson missed a significant amount of practice time due to an ankle injury he sustained in Tampa Bay's preseason opener vs. Tennessee.
In addition to losing a 2008 second-round pick, Jackson will still hit Tampa Bay's books in 2009. A clause in his four-year rookie contract calls for Jackson to receive $450,000 in guaranteed base salary this year.
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