Wide receiver DeSean Jackson signed a three-year, $33.5MM deal ($20MM guaranteed) with the Buccaneers earlier this offseason, and the organization is counting on the veteran to live up to this contract. With Jackson coming off the fifth 1,000-yard campaign of his career, offensive coordinator/receivers coach Todd Monken is expecting the 30-year-old to perform like a top receiver.
“How can we get DeSean Jackson up to playing at a really high level? Not that he’s still not capable of it, but how do we get him to play at why we paid him?’’ Monken told Rick Stroud of TampaBay.com. “I’ve told him that, ‘we have paid you a hell of a lot of money to be a damn good player. We’re not paying you a lot of money, this is a contract where we’re paying you for what you’ve done for us…we’re not paying like (Derek) Jeter the last three years…we don’t have any old street cred that we’re paying you. No. We need you to be a great player now. Okay? That’s why we gave you the money.
“You came here because of the money. Don’t give me all that bull about you came here because of the weather and Jameis. No. You came here because we paid you the most. You need to play like that. He gets that. He’s smart enough to understand that.’’
Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFC…
- The Cowboys are currently rostering quarterbacks Dak Prescott and Kellen Moore (as well as undrafted free agents Cooper Rush and Austin Appleby), leading ESPN.com’s Todd Archer to wonder if the team will pursue another veteran signal-caller. The writer specifically dives into Colin Kaepernick‘s fit with the team, with Archer ultimately concluding that the embattled quarterback would be a solid backup to Prescott. Furthermore, the writer points out that Kaepernick would be a much more attractive choice than the other available veteran quarterbacks, including Robert Griffin III and Zach Mettenberger.
- Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News expects Cowboys offensive guard Zack Martin to sign an extension during training camp, with the writer citing the extension’s signed by Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith. Martin hasn’t missed a regular game since entering the league as a first-rounder in 2014, and he’s been named to three straight Pro Bowls.
- ESPN’s Bill Barnwell wasn’t particularly impressed with the Bears offseason, especially when it came to the team’s handling of the quarterback position. While the organization could presumably find their future signal-caller among Mike Glennon and Mitch Trubisky, Barnwell still believes the organization paid too much for the free agent and sacrificed too many assets for the rookie. The pundit also wasn’t a fan of the Bears selection of several “small-school” prospects, including Ashland tight end Adam Shaheen and Kutztown offensive lineman Jordan Morgan. If there was a positive to take away from the Bears offseason, Barnwell points to the team’s improved secondary.