DeSean Jackson may have already played his last down for the Buccaneers. Jackson is sidelined for Tampa Bay’s matchup against the Panthers today due to a thumb injury, and his displeasure with the team has been evident for some time. Between that and the fact that Tampa Bay can cut Jackson after the season and completely clear his 2019 $10MM salary off the books with no dead money penalty, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times believes that Jackson’s tenure with the club is just about over.
Jackson has always been mercurial, but he has reason to be upset with the way things have gone in Tampa since he signed a three-year, $33.5MM contract with the club in 2017. As Stroud observes — and as has been painfully evident to anyone watching Buccaneers games over the last two seasons — Jackson and quarterback Jameis Winston have never gotten on the same page, with Winston’s frequent misses of a wide-open Jackson having become something of a running joke. Jackson has seen much more success with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, but Fitzpatrick is not exactly the Bucs’ quarterback of the future.
Plus, the Bucs are 4-7 and may be headed for a last-place finish in the NFC South for the second year in a row, which will only add to Jackson’s frustrations. The 32-year-old speedster may not have much time left in the league, and he surely wants to give himself a shot at a ring before his career is over. It does not seem likely that the 2019 Buccaneers will give him a great opportunity to achieve that goal.
Jackson requested a trade back in October, and Stroud wonders whether he will ask the club to put him on IR now so that he can preserve himself for his expected foray back into free agency next offseason.
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