Winston: “We Want DeSean Here.”
Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson is set to become a free agent this offseason and the Bucaneers are one of the teams who have shown interest in him. Jackson, 30, still has the ability to be a “go long” type of guy. Jameis Winston, who will be going into his third NFL season, has the arm strength to find a speedy guy like Jackson downfield for some big-play possibilities.
Winston spoke to Greg Auman of The Tampa Bay Times earlier this week on having Jackson join the team.
“I’ve met him before, and we want DeSean. You better believe we want DeSean here,” Winston told Auman. “I think he would be a great asset to our team. Me growing up an Eagles fan, seeing what he did for the Eagles and back in his Cal days and even with the Redskins, I would love to have DeSean.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter believes that the Eagles, who drafted Jackson in 2008, are a possible landing spot for wide receiver. The Eagles, like the Bucs, have a young quarterback who need help at the wide receiver position.
Jackson, who has spent the last three season in Washington playing for the Redskins, hauled in over 1,000 yards in two of his three seasons there. He isn’t the same explosive playmaker he was when he first entered the league, but he is still a player defenders have to mark each offensive play.
Jackson hasn’t been returning punts or kicks since his days in Philadelphia, but Tampa could use him on special teams. The Bucs didn’t have a player take back a single kickoff or punt return for a touchdown last season.
The Bucs running back situation is also in question, with Doug Martin having injury problems as well as checking himself into rehab after failing a drug test last season. Jackson did get the ball handed to him earlier in his career, but not as of late. The Bucs could possibly use Jackson much like the Packers use Ty Montgomery. The Packers have him lineup as a running back, occasionally handing him the ball. In most cases, he runs routes out of the backfield, forcing a linebacker to be the one to cover him in passing situations. Linebackers would have a tough time keeping up with a speedy receiver like Jackson.
The Bucs have approximately $70 million to spend in free agency, but they need to spend it wisely. Winston will get a big pay raise when his rookie contract runs out in a few years and they have other needs besides wide receiver to address in the offseason. But adding Jackson to be put in the slot with Pro-Bowl receiver Mike Evans on one side and Vincent Jackson on the other, would make the Bucs have one of the most dangerous receiver corps in the NFL.