DeSean Jackson

Bucs Unlikely To Trade DeSean Jackson?

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson wants to be traded, but the Buccaneers don’t sound inclined to fulfill his request. When asked about the possibility of a DJax deal over the weekend, GM Jason Licht indicated that Jackson will be a part of the team beyond Tuesday’s trade deadline. 

“I’ll say this. DeSean Jackson and I have a great relationship,” Licht said on Sunday (via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times). “He’s one of my favorite people on the team, and Dirk [Koetter] has a great relationship with him and he’s obviously a terrific player for us. We’re 3-3, we’re headed into big game today, we’ve got a big stretch of games coming up for us, and we don’t like to talk about these stories. But I can say that my job and our job here is to field the best roster that we can to win games, and DeSean is a huge, huge part of that, not just today, but for the rest of the season. Other than that, I don’t have anything else to add.”

Of course, after yesterday’s 37-34 loss to the Bengals, the Bucs are now 3-4, and their offense is chock full of question marks. Jackson was targeted eight times against Cincinnati, but he wasn’t able to do much with those balls outside of his 60-yard touchdown grab in the second quarter.

Jackson is in Year 2 of a three-year deal, $33.5MM deal he signed with the team in 2017. He has yet to develop a rapport with quarterback Jameis Winston, as evidenced by his disappointing 50/668/3 stat line last season. Licht says he wants to hold on to the veteran, but the soon-to-be 32-year-old would rather join a team that can utilize his deep field skills.

For what it’s worth, the Bucs are considering benching Winston in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick, a move that could benefit Jackson. With Fitzmagic on the field for the first the first two games of the season, Jackson had nine receptions for an eye-popping 275 yards and three scores, good for an average of 30.56 yards per catch.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Rumors: Carr, Raiders, Peterson, Taylor

We learned earlier this morning that Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson has requested a trade, though the team wants to keep him. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that Jackson, on his way to the team bus this morning, declined to comment on the report.

With the trade deadline two days away, let’s round up a few more trade rumors from around the league (Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, who says many GMs expect there to be three to five “impactful” deals over the next 48 hours, offers a helpful primer, which includes a list of some of the most-discussed players on the market):

  • Albert Breer of TheMMQB says that the Raiders may not be done dealing just yet, though he does not expect the team to move Derek Carr (indeed, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported this morning that the Raiders have told Carr that he is the quarterback of the present and future). However, Oakland is open to moving Karl Joseph and Gareon Conley, though the Raiders are driving a “hard bargain” with teams interested in Conley.
  • Breer names a number of other players whose names we have not heard in recent rumblings but who could nonetheless be on the move: the PackersHa Ha Clinton-Dix, the 49ersPierre Garcon and Jimmie Ward, the CardinalsChandler Jones, and the BroncosShane Ray and Brandon Marshall. Breers adds that San Francisco would need to get something “significant” to deal Ward. He also says that, while teams are certainly interested in Denver corners Bradley Roby and Chris Harris, he thinks it would be difficult for the team to trade either.
  • If they had elected to trade Patrick Peterson, La Canfora writes that the Cardinals could have received a bounty for him, and may have even landed multiple first-round picks (in fact, several teams were already prepared to offer a first- and second-rounder). JLC reports that Peterson was considered the “crown jewel” of the deadline, and given his attractive contract status, he may be the subject of renewed trade rumors during the offseason.
  • Breer also writes that the Browns are open to trading Tyrod Taylor, whose contract structure could make a deal feasible. Meanwhile, Tony Grossi of ESPN.com suggests that Cleveland GM John Dorsey may be trying to acquire wide receiver help (Twitter link).
  • The Bills remain unlikely to trade LeSean McCoy, per Schefter.
  • Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has demonstrated a proclivity for making trades, and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says Maccagnan has been doing his due diligence on everyone, including big-name players. But while there is a sense that New York could swing a deal, the fact that the team is in a no-man’s land between buyer and seller, and the fact that the roster does not have many tradeable pieces, could make a trade difficult to pull off.

DeSean Jackson Requests Trade

Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson recently requested that the team trade him, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. However, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter is unaware of the request, and if Jackson did ask for a trade, it would be surprising if Koetter did not know about it.

In any event, Rapoport says that the 3-3 Bucs have refused to grant that request, and it appears as if the team will hold on to Jackson through Tuesday’s trade deadline. After all, Koetter’s job security is tenuous at best, and GM Jason Licht is probably not much safer. As such, team brass may have personal reasons, as well as on-field reasons, to keep Jackson around.

Jackson signed a three-year deal, $33.5MM deal with the Bucs in March 2017, but he and quarterback Jameis Winston never got on the same page during Jackson’s first year with the club, and Jackson’s deep ball skills were sorely underutilized. He caught 50 balls for 668 yards and three scores last season, and his 13.4 yards per catch average was the lowest mark of his career.

This year, he and backup signal-caller Ryan Fitzpatrick were making magic together through the first two games of the season, but since Winston has resumed quarterbacking duties, Jackson has once again seen his numbers take a dip. In each of the last two games, Winston has missed an open Jackson for what would have likely been a long touchdown pass.

Although the Bucs have declined to honor Jackson’s request to date, this report will surely increase interest in the 31-year-old playmaker (who turns 32 on December 1). Any acquiring team would take on the remainder of his $11MM salary for this season and would be on the hook for his $10MM salary in 2019, but he could be released after the 2018 campaign without any dead money being left on the cap.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Rumors: Rodgers, Hawks, Linehan, Bucs

The Aaron Rodgers watch now includes a practice return. The Packers saw their best player resurface at Saturday’s practice after he’d missed all week of workouts. Although NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero points out Rodgers is still questionable (Twitter link) and the Packers will see how he looks Sunday morning, now that he’s gotten in a practice it’s a bit difficult to see the 34-year-old quarterback not suiting up Sunday against the Vikings. Swelling in Rodgers’ left knee remains an issue, per Pelissero (on Twitter), and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein tabs it as unlikely the Packers will give their centerpiece a green light if he’s still sore or experiencing swelling from Saturday’s workout. But the 14th-year passer has dealt with myriad left knee trouble at several points in his career. That said, the Vikings’ defense may be the toughest unit he faces all season; and Minnesota’s front seven will be facing a surely less mobile Rodgers than it ordinarily would.

Here’s what’s new out of the NFC going into Week 2 Sunday.

  • Bobby Wagner serves as the anchor for the Seahawks‘ front seven, having played in 42 straight games. That streak will end on Monday night after the Seahawks declared their top linebacker out for their Bears game. K.J. Wright also will not play. Wagner is battling a groin injury, while Wright is still recovering from a knee scope. Perhaps this explains the team’s need to make the controversial decision to sign Mychal Kendricks, who may face prison time after pleading guilty to insider trading. Barkevious Mingo is the only starting linebacker Seattle will have available in Chicago.
  • Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan saw increased latitude this offseason in the team’s effort to restructure its offense, with Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News writing the fourth-year Dallas OC was involved in the decisions to release Dez Bryant and move on from four offensive assistants. Linehan signed an extension in 2017 that calls for him to be paid approximately $2MM per season, George notes. This makes the Cowboys’ OC one of the NFL’s highest-paid assistants. George adds Linehan could well be on the chopping block if Dallas’ offense nosedives. The Panthers did not see much from Linehan’s unit in Week 1.
  • DeSean Jackson appears set to have another chance to face his original team. The Buccaneers wide receiver is expected to surmount concussion protocol and be on the field against the Eagles on Sunday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Jackson had his best game as a Buccaneer last week, hauling in five passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns.

Buccaneers Notes: Monken, Koetter, Pierre-Paul, Jackson, Hargreaves

The Buccaneers’ offensive explosion in Week 1 caught pretty much everybody by surprise. The Bucs scored 48 points and won fairly easily on the road in New Orleans. Ryan Fitzpatrick had one of the best games of his career, throwing for 417 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Although it was mostly the same personnel from previous seasons, there was at least one major change. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken was calling plays instead of head coach Dirk Koetter according to Jenna Laine of ESPN. Koetter had always called plays during his time in Tampa Bay, but relinquished the play calling duties to Monken after he excelled in the role during the preseason. If Week 1 is any indication, it doesn’t look like Koetter will be asking for the responsibility back anytime soon.

Here’s more from Tampa:

  • The injuries just keep piling up for the Bucs on defense. Vernon Hargreaves was recently placed on injured reserve, top corner Brent Grimes‘ status is still unclear, and now star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has a knee injury according to Laine (Twitter link). Pierre-Paul told Laine his knee was “jacked up” and that while he hopes to play this Sunday he’s “not really sure” if he’ll be able to.
  • The injuries aren’t only on defense. Receiver DeSean Jackson is in the concussion protocol according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). In addition to the concussion, Jackson is nursing a minor shoulder injury and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to go Sunday against the Eagles, although at this point it looks like he’ll probably play assuming he clears the protocol.
  • It was reported earlier this week that Hargreaves would miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, and now more details are in. The 11th overall pick of the 2016 draft has a torn labrum according to Laine. Although he struggled his first two years in the league, Hargreaves reportedly had a very strong camp to win the starting job, and it’s a huge blow to the Bucs’ already thin secondary.

Injury Updates: Fournette, Texans, 49ers, Jackson

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette left today’s win over the Giants with a hamstring injury. While the second-year star was forced to sit out more than half the contest, the team isn’t overly worried about his availability for next week’s game against the Patriots.

“They said it was in a good part,” said head coach Doug Marrone (via Hays Carlyon of 1010XL on Twitter). “I don’t know if there’s any good part of those things. It’s something that he felt like, he’s had it before, he knows how to treat it. That makes things pretty optimistic, which normally I’m not that optimistic.”

Before exiting today’s contest, Fournette had run for 41 yards on nine carries. He also added another three receptions for 14 yards. If the running back were to miss any time, the Jaguars would presumably turn to backup T.J. Yeldon.

Let’s take a look at some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Texans right tackle Seantrel Henderson broke a bone in his ankle during today’s loss to the Patriots, reports NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter). It’s uncertain how much time the 26-year-old will miss. The lineman suffered the injury after getting his ankle stuck under Patriots defensive lineman Keionta Davis. Henderson missed the preseason after having a noncancerous cyst removed, but the free agent addition was expected to still serve as a starter for the Texans.
  • 49ers linebacker Brock Coyle suffered a concussion during today’s loss to the Vikings, reports Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (via Twitter). The 27-year-old had compiled six tackles during the contest. Coyle appeared in 16 games (10 starts) for San Francisco last season, finishing with 64 tackles. 0.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. Maiocco adds that offensive guards Mike Person and Joshua Garnett both looked fine in the locker room after leaving the game with foot injuries.
  • Buccaneers wideout DeSean Jackson suffered a concussion during today’s win over the Saints, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine. The receiver suffered the injury in the fourth quarter following a hit from Ken Crowley. The 31-year-old had a standout day for Tampa Bay, hauling in five catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns.

Latest On Buccaneers, DeSean Jackson

There’s no hiding the fact that DeSean Jackson struggled in his first season with the Buccaneers, catching 50 passes for 668 yards and three touchdowns. Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter didn’t believe that all the struggles fell on the shoulders of the three-time Pro Bowler as he never looked to gain a rapport with quarterback Jameis Winston.

“DeSean … we did not get the production out of DeSean. And when I say production out of DeSean, when you go back and look at the tape, we have a tape of just plays where we didn’t hit DeSean,” Koetter said to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “DeSean was where he was supposed to be. He was either behind the defense, in between the corner and safety, or he was in position to make explosive plays and we didn’t get the ball to him. That’s on myself, it’s on Jameis to do better. I think DeSean and Jameis have said they need to spend more time working together and I think they’re addressing that. 

Jackson has a potential out on his deal after next season. If the Buccaneers were to cut Jackson prior to this season, the team would absorb $7.5MM in dead cap space. He signed a three-year, $33.5MM deal with the Buccaneers last offseason, with $20MM guaranteed at signing. A one-car crash last Christmas Eve in Tampa, Fla., in which the vehicle was left unattended, was linked to a car owned by Jackson but the authorities are no longer actively investigating the case.

Stroud notes that Jackson trains in California during the offseason, which likely won’t help with developing a rapport with Winston, and that he missed out on most of the team’s voluntary OTAs last offseason. Stroud also opines that Chris Godwin could take on an extended role in the offense in the near future.

Godwin, who the team took in the third round of last year’s draft, had 34 catches for 525 yards and a touchdown last season, including nine catches for 111 yards (and the lone touchdown) in the team’s regular-season finale.

“I think Chris is capable of being a No. 1 if you want him to be,” Koetter said. “He can also be your two, he can be your three. His ego does not show up. He’ll do what you ask him to do and he’ll do it to the best of his ability and he’ll play through discomfort.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On DeSean Jackson

An investigation surrounding a Christmas Eve crash that involved a car owned by Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson is now inactive, the Tampa (Fla.) police told Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday (Twitter link). Jackson claimed a friend was driving a Chevy Silverado registered to him when it struck a tree and was abandoned near a mall in Tampa.

DeSean Jackson

Police also found two .38 caliber hollow-point bullets and 6.3 grams of marijuana in the abandoned car. Auman also noted that the mall in which the car struck a tree does not plan to prosecute the case (Twitter link).

Jackson is set to enter the second season of a three-year, $33.5MM contract he signed with the Bucs last offseason. Jackson was not with the team at the time of the accident as he was inactive for their Week 16 matchup against the Panthers due to an ankle injury. He appeared in 14 games last year, catching 50 passes for 568 yards and three touchdown catches.

In a separate piece, Auman identified the person driving Jackson’s car as Therrian Fontenot, a former teammate from his days with the Eagles. Fontenot also spent six months in jail in 2015 after burglarizing the home of former NFL wide receiver Bernard Berrian. Jackson helped in identifying Fontenot as the driver of the car but did not assist the police in locating him, per Auman. Fontenot and Jackson were seen together in an Instagram post from Fontenot at Raymond James Stadium on Dec. 10.

Even if there are no legal consequences for Jackson, it’s still possible that he could face league discipline if the NFL finds any wrongdoing.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Accident Linked To DeSean Jackson

Tampa, Fla. police are investigating a crash on Christmas Eve that involved a vehicle registered to Buccaneers receiver DeSean JacksonMike Garafolo of NFL.com reportsDeSean Jackson (vertical)

The vehicle, a Chevy Silverado, was found unattended after it appeared to leave the road and struck a tree Sunday evening. Police discovered 6.3 grams of marijuana and also found two .38 caliber hollow-point bullets in the vehicle. In the state of Florida, the bullets are legal and any marijuana less than 20 grams is considered a misdemeanor offense. The police report indicated officers made contact with Jackson, who responded to the scene.

Per Garofolo’s source, “Jackson initially declined to cooperate, then gave officers the name of the alleged driver but declined to assist officers in getting the driver back to the scene.”

A representative of Jackson, Denise White, said “It was a friend of DeSean’s who borrowed his car while he was out of town. None of what was in the car was his obviously. He’s dealing with the person that was using it without his knowledge privately. The incident is being handled.”

Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht responded to the reports in a statement:

“We are aware of a one-car accident involving a vehicle registered to DeSean Jackson on the night of Dec. 24. Our understanding is that DeSean has been in contact with authorities and is cooperating with the investigation.”

Jackson, who was inactive and did not travel to the team’s Week 16 matchup with Carolina, has tallied 50 receptions for 668 yards in his first season with the team. No arrests have been made and the case remains open.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Packers, Cowboys, Buccaneers

The Packers will be returning seven wideouts from last year’s roster, and they’ve also brought in rookies DeAngelo Yancey and Malachi Dupre. A number of players could logically slot in behind starters Jordy NelsonRandall Cobb and Davante Adams, and they’re all aware of the fierce competition.

“I’d like to think we have more than seven guys who can play in that group, for sure,” receivers coach Luke Getsy told Wes Hodkiewicz of Packers.com. “Circumstances dictate a little bit the way things go … but the thing I’m excited about is I really do think we have more than seven guys who can contribute to us winning football games.”

Besides the starters and pair of rookies, the Packers are also rostering wideouts Jeff JanisGeronimo AllisonTrevor Davis, and Max McCaffrey.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • The Cowboys signed defensive tackle Cedric Thornton to a four-year, $17MM deal last offseason, and Brandon George of The Dallas News says the organization expects more from the 29-year-old during his second season with the team. The former undrafted free agent compiled only 22 tackles and 1.5 sacks for Dallas last year, and George believes he’ll once again be apart of the team’s eight-man defensive line rotation.
  • The Buccaneers inked free agent wideout DeSean Jackson to a contract earlier this season, and fellow receiver Mike Evans is excited about the duo’s potential. “This is going to be awesome,” Evans told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “Obviously, I think we could be one of the best tandems in the league. DeSean is an explosive receiver. I think we can do great things together…As soon as he got signed, we had dinner and we connected right away. We knew each other already. I’ve always been a fan of his game and the swagger he brings. Having him on the team will be very helpful.” Evans finished last season with 1,321 yards on 96 catches, while Jackson hauled in 56 catches for 1,005 yards.
  • 27 years after he was released by the Los Angeles Raiders and 16 years after he played with the AFL’s Los Angeles Avengers, quarterback Todd Marinovich is attempting a comeback. The 48-year-old is currently competing for a starting spot on the SoCal Coyotes of the World Developmental Football League. “It’s the greatest game on the planet and I’ve been away from it for so long, and I can’t think of anything more fun,” he told reporters (via ESPN.com). “Recovery has changed every aspect of my life and made it better so why wouldn’t that carry over to the football field?” Marinovich is referring to a former drug problem that led to him being arrested in 2016, although the former NFL quarterback said he’s been sober since that time.