Wide receiver DeSean Jackson expects to sign with Tampa assuming no breakdown in the final negotiations, sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Facebook link). He should provide Jameis Winston with the deep threat he has been seeking.
Jackson led the NFL in yards per reception for the second time in his career last season and showed that he hasn’t lost a bit of his blazing speed. He was also linked to the Patriots and the incumbent Redskins, but the Buccaneers have been in pursuit of him for days now (perhaps even before the start of the legal tampering period).
Jackson will now pair with Mike Evans at the top of the Bucs’ wide receiver depth chart. Adam Humphries and Josh Huff are also there, but the Bucs might look to add an additional receiver via free agency or the draft. Vincent Jackson, Cecil Shorts III, and Russell Shepard are all unrestricted free agents this week. The competition for Shepard is apparently heating up, so he might not be back. V. Jackson won’t be retiring, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be back in Tampa either.
Following an underwhelming 2015 campaign, Jackson bounced back in 2016. In 15 games, the veteran hauled in 56 receptions for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns. In nine NFL seasons, the wideout has averaged 55 receptions, 980 yards, and five touchdowns in 14 games per season.
Jackson rated as PFR’s No. 26 free agent based on projected earning power. He was our No. 5 ranked wide receiver based on ability, behind Alshon Jeffery, Terrelle Pryor, Kenny Stills, and Kenny Britt.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.