DeSean Jackson

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.

NFC Notes: Jackson, Cowboys, Kaepernick, Bears

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.’’

The Buccaneers could end up having one of the best receving corps in the NFL, as Jameis Winston will be throwing to a group that includes Jackson, Mike EvansAdam Humphries and rookie Chris Godwin.

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.

NFC Notes: D-Jax, Eagles, Patterson, Saints

It hasn’t been an overly positive week for the Redskins, who became the first team in NFL history to lose two 1,000-yard receivers from the previous year in the same offseason. They lost Chris Baker and fired GM Scot McCloughan as well. Washington, though, did add Terrelle Pryor on a one-year deal, and before DeSean Jackson‘s Buccaneers agreement became finalized made a late push to keep him, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Reports continued to push Jackson out of Washington due to salary escalation, and the Bucs’ three-year, $33.5MM deal (with $20MM in guarantees) proved to be what the 30-year-old deep threat preferred.

Here’s more from the NFC.

  • The Eagles attempted to trade Mychal Kendricks in yet another offseason but saw most of his 2017 salary become guaranteed on Friday. A Kendricks trade would create just $1.8MM in cap space, but a source tells Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com there’s still a chance he’s dealt. The 26-year-old played just 27 percent of Philly’s defensive snaps last season.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson has visited three teams — the Redskins, Raiders and Bears — but may want to stay with the Vikings. The fifth-year wideout/return man said on Snapchat (via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press), “All I am hearing is stay with the Vikings!! Trust me I want to… But we all know business is business … So what you (going to) do, Rick.” It’s safe assume “Rick” is Vikings GM Rick Spielman. The Vikings did not pick up Patterson’s fifth-year option in 2016, but given his productivity as a return man (five career kick-return touchdowns, two first-team All-Pro distinctions), it’s reasonable to suggest the Vikes would want him back at a price cheaper than the $7.915MM it would have cost them to pick up that option.
  • Rex Burkhead visited the Falcons today, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This marks the first update on Burkhead since he became a free agent. He rated as PFR’s No. 7 UFA running back this year. Given a bigger role with the Bengals after Giovani Bernard went down, Burkhead averaged 4.6 yards per carry last season and gained 489 yards from scrimmage on 91 touches. The Falcons, of course, have one of the best backfields in football, so Burkhead wouldn’t stand to leapfrog Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman.
  • Prior to Marcus Cooper signing with the Bears, the Saints expressed interest in the fifth-year cornerback, Herbie Teope of NOLA.com reports.
  • The NFL will strip the Patriots of the fourth-round pick they acquired from the Saints (No. 118) in the Brandin Cooks deal. (This represents the last Deflategate penalty.) But Mike Florio of Pro Football talk argued the Saints should have worked the phones to attempt to trade down from that spot. However, the trade became official on Saturday afternoon. The pick will now essentially disappear, unless New England acquires a higher fourth-round pick. The Patriots must forfeit their highest fourth-round pick, which was No. 132 prior to the Cooks trade, as part of the Deflategate penalty. Florio argues the Saints should have called teams that picked in between Nos. 119-131 to trade down — thus sending that selection to the Patriots — while picking up a minor return from another team in doing so.

Contract Details: Jackson, Whitworth, Hyde

Let’s take a look at details of some recent free agent contracts:

  • Wide receiver DeSean Jackson‘s deal with the Buccaneers is a three-year, $33.5MM pact that features $20MM in guarantees and $23.5MM over the first two seasons, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link).
  • Safety D.J. Swearinger‘s new deal with the Redskins includes $9MM in guaranteed money, reports Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post (via Twitter). The journeyman will earn $3MM in 2018 and $4.25MM in 2019.
  • Tackle Andrew Whitworth‘s new deal with the Rams is worth $36MM with $15MM guaranteed, but a big chunk of that $15MM could be realized in 2017. As Jason La Canfora tweets, the lineman’s $12.5MM 2017 salary is guaranteed, and he’s owed another $2.5MM bonus. Therefore, the contract could be interpreted as a one-year deal worth $15MM.
  • Micah Hyde‘s new contract will count $4MM against the Bills salary cap next season, reports ESPN’s Mike Rodak. The safety’s 2017 salary is guaranteed, while the 2018 salary is guaranteed for injury (it becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2018 league year).

Contract Details: Jones, Taylor, Branch, D-Jax, Bitonio, Davis

Here’s the latest on some of the latest contracts agreed to this week.

  • Chandler Jonesfive-year Cardinals extension will pay him $16.5MM per year, Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com tweets. Jones will make $53MM in guaranteed money from his second NFL contract, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports adds (on Twitter).
  • Tyrod Taylor‘s restructured Bills deal is a two-year, $30.5MM pact, La Canfora reports (on Twitter), adding that the rest of it voids after 2018. Taylor will make $15.5MM in guarantees as a result of the re-done pact and $14.5MM in 2017. La Canfora adds the quarterback stands to collect $16MM in ’18.
  • Andre Branch‘s three-year Dolphins deal is worth $24MM, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). Volin adds the contract includes two fully guaranteed years– at $17MM — for the 27-year-old pass-rusher. Volin adds that Branch could see $3.75MM more via incentives. Branch will receive a $6MM signing bonus, make $2.9MM in base salary in 2017, $7.9MM in ’18 and $6.9MM in ’19, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • DeSean Jackson‘s Buccaneers pact will be worth approximately $11MM per year, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.
  • Joel Bitonio‘s five-year Browns extension will pay out $47.5MM in base salary, Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com tweets, adding $23MM in guarantees are included. The new deal kicks in after Bitonio’s 2017 season, so he’s under contract in Cleveland through 2022.
  • Vernon Davis‘ second Redskins contract will include a $4MM signing bonus and $7.5MM guaranteed, Wilson tweets. His base salaries from 2017-19, respectively, are $2MM, $3.75MM and $4.75MM.
  • Courtney Upshaw re-signing with the Falcons on a one-year deal will result in $1.15MM coming his way in 2017, Wilson tweets. The defender gets a $125K signing bonus and will make $775K in base salary this season.

Buccaneers To Sign DeSean Jackson

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. DeSean Jackson (vertical)

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.

Redskins Pushing To Retain DeSean Jackson

The Redskins will make a “final push” to re-sign free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), who notes that such an overture will be expensive.DeSean Jackson

Washington had been expected to part ways with Jackson, and while a breakup could still occur, it sounds as though the Redskins haven’t yet given up on retaining the 30-year-old pass-catcher. Jackson has already developed a large market during the legal tampering period, as the Buccaneers, Eagles, and Cowboys have all been tied to the veteran pass-catcher. As such, his annual salary could conceivably brush the $12MM area.

Jackson, who led the NFL in yards per reception for the second time in his career last season, has also been linked to the Patriots, but he’s unlikely to land in New England unless he accepts a “steep discount,” tweets Mike Garafolo of NFL.com. Jackson rates as PFR’s No. 26 free agent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.