The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not sign free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson, Rick Stroud reports. The Philadelphia Eagles released him today, after allegations of various issues, including gang connections, emerged on NJ.com. That release had been brewing for a long time, however.
For those asking, I'm told there is ZERO chance the #Bucs will have an interest in WR DeSean Jackson as a free agent.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 28, 2014
So we can put that rumor to rest rather quickly. Whether it's because of his alleged gang affiliation, his contract-related drama, or Jeff Tedford's experiences with Jackson: the Bucs don't want the speedster on their team. The gang connections weren't the only issue Jackson faced in Philadelphia, with work ethic issues, a humongous salary and the fit with Chip Kelly were all problems.
That's not a huge surprise, though he would likely have fit their offense fairly well. At some point, off-field drama outweighs on-field production. With Lovie Smith talking about Mike Williams' "pattern of behavior", Jackson's pattern isn't going to endear him to anyone.
The Bucs still have a need at receiver, but they're likely to fill that in free agency. Behind Vincent Jackson they have no one truly reliable. Mike Williams may still be cut this offseason, if he doesn't stop his 'pattern' of partying too much, and relying on Louis Murphy would be a pretty bad idea.