The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ signing DeSean Jackson has been met with near-universal acclaim, strangely enough. I expected some to question the signing, given past rumblings of Jackson as a locker-room problem or diva receiver, and his being a bit of a one-trick pony. But nope. Everyone loves it.
So perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that it was mentioned as one of the best moves of this free agency period by SB Nation’s Jon Benne but ehm...I am.
Mike Evans is great, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had scant depth behind him, which limited the passing game despite Winston’s improvement. Now the Bucs have the speedy deep threat they’ve been looking for after after signing DeSean Jackson and giving Winston another option. Jackson is getting up there in years and has a long injury history, but when healthy he’s still one of the most lethal playmakers in the league. Tampa’s offense should be much more dynamic going forward.
Yeah, can’t argue with this logic. Jackson is obviously a massive improvement over the platoon of third to sixth-string receivers the Bucs trotted out there after Vincent Jackson went down with an injury — and replacing a sluggish, aged Jackson with a speedy, aging Jackson is also an improvement.
And even his contract is pretty good. Or at least, NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal listed it as one of the best contracts in free agency.
The key here is that the Bucs avoided guarantees past Year 2. By then, Mike Evans will be one of the highest-paid receivers in football, and D-Jax will have helped Jameis Winston make the playoffs. Bucs GM Jason Licht also deserves credit for one of the rare defensive line deals that looks like a value, signing former Redskins defensive end Chris Baker for only $9 million guaranteed.
The signing of Baker may turn out to be even better value, but both contracts benefit from the Bucs’ standard approach to contracts: high salaries and roster bonuses, guaranteeing the first third or so of the contract, no signing bonus. All of that allows the Bucs to cut bait with busts or overly expensive players after just one or two seasons.
We’ll see whether that happens with DeSean Jackson. But for now, the Bucs can be really happy with that signing.