After three years in Washington, DeSean Jackson will sign a new deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team announced Thursday. The multi-year deal is expected to top $10 million per season.
Jackson registered the fifth 1,000-yard season in his NFL career last year, serving as one of the few bright spots in a fairly disappointing season for the team from the United States capital. While Washington finished the year with a winning record, going 8-7-1, the team finished third in the NFC East behind the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.
Jackson has long been known as one of the NFL’s best deep threats, if not the very best. The longtime Eagles receiver earned three Pro Bowl nods in Philadelphia before eventually getting cut. Once he arrived in Washington, things started to click again, as Jackson registered 2,702 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in a three-year D.C. tenure.
He’ll bring that talent to Tampa Bay, which is in dire need of support behind top wideout Mike Evans. The Buccaneers had been relying on Pro Bowler Vincent Jackson, but the veteran is 34 this season, has started just 14 games the past two years due to injury, and is an unrestricted free agent this spring. Adding Jackson will give Jameis Winston a dynamic deep threat who can add an extra dimension to his team’s offense.
The speedy wide receiver has made his living dusting opposing defensive backs, totaling 53 career touchdowns — 46 receiving, three rushing, and four returning. Jackson, a former second-round pick, was deemed expendable in a Washington offense loaded with playmakers. He was one of three pass catchers (along with Pierre Garcon and Vernon Davis) who hit free agency this offseason, but with Kirk Cousins’ contract negotiation as well as a loaded receiver corps even without the three aforementioned players (Jordan Reed, Jamison Crowder, and 2016 first-rounder Josh Doctson seem to be the future at the position), there simply was no room for Jackson.
At 30, Jackson still has plenty of gas left in the tank and can be a major contributor in the upcoming season. The wideout has only missed 16 games in his nine-year career.
The Buccaneers made a late playoff push last year, only to come up short. Adding Jackson is a sign that they don’t plan on letting that happen again this year. It’s also an important addition because teams will need to be able to score at will to keep pace with the Falcons offense in the NFC South.