DeSean Jackson‘s two Buccaneers seasons did not go as well as the parties involved hoped, but Bruce Arians entering the equation provides a previously unforeseen path for a third Jackson year in Tampa.
The new Bucs head coach (and known deep-ball enthusiast) wants to keep Jackson in the fold, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets (video link). A report in December pointed to Jackson wanting to leave Tampa Bay.
One of Arians’ first acts as Buccaneers coach was to acquire Jackson’s contact information, though no such call has been placed yet, per Rapoport. But Arians wants to “re-recruit” Jackson. While he is under contract for a third season — $10MM — Jackson was previously expected to be a cap casualty. No guaranteed money remains on the 32-year-old wideout’s contract.
This was expected to be a way the Bucs could gain $10MM in cap space. As it stands now, they stand to hold just $16MM-plus. They also want to re-sign Adam Humphries. If Jackson stays, Tampa Bay would have to readjust its roster elsewhere if cap space is to be created.
Jackson asked for a trade midseason and has struggled to stay on the same page as Jameis Winston. Although his 774 receiving yards this season represented an uptick from a disappointing 2017 showing, his best games came when Ryan Fitzpatrick was throwing. The Bucs are committed to Winston for 2019, which will be Jackson’s 12th NFL season.