News broke early Sunday morning Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson has asked the team to trade him ahead of this Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline.
There are plenty of discussions happening about whether or not the team should or should not trade him, with ESPN’s Jenna Laine providing some insight into the front office’s position on the matter.
Regarding NFL Network report that DeSean Jackson has requested to be traded: the Bucs are in ‘win now' mode. Even though the deep-ball chemistry between DeSean Jackson and Jameis Winston isn't what it was with Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bucs want to see... https://t.co/35XYlyrx5g— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) October 28, 2018
First things first, we can probably rest assured the team will not trade him to a team they still have to face in the 2018 season. This eliminates not only their division rivals, but the Washington Redskins, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys.
There are however, 22 other teams who could potentially pursue the speedy veteran who has shown this year he still has big play ability. Who are they, and what could the Bucs get in return?
Looking along the lines Laine reported on, Tampa Bay would likely be looking for a player in return who can help the team win this year, with added bonus to players or picks who could also help the franchise win in the future.
TRADE PARTNER: GREEN BAY PACKERS
The Packers are in a sensitive position given the fact Aaron Rodgers is 34-years old and has been injured many times over the past few seasons. Still, there is a feeling within the franchise they can compete in today’s NFL.
Less than stellar defensive play and some inconsistency on offense has plagued Green Bay and forced the team to have to outshoot opponents more often than not. Adding a weapon to Rodgers’ arsenal would help, and if they feel losing safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in exchange for such a weapon, a deal could be found.
Tampa Bay currently has four safeties on the roster with veteran Chris Conte lost for the year. Outside of Justin Evans, none have a secure hold on the other starting position.
Injecting a player like Clinton-Dix not only gives him a chance to regain his Pro Bowl form from 2016, but may provide the Bucs an opportunity to secure the back end of their defense now and for years to come.
TRADE PARTNER: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The Patriots are not scared of trading high draft picks for players they feel can get them over the hump right now.
New England currently sits on top of the AFC East, but the age of Tom Brady, long-term health of tight end Rob Gronkowski and uncertain outlook of head coach Bill Belichick could find this team buying high to get a guy who can give them that little bit extra.
Brady’s longest pass this season is 55-yards. Jackson has longs of 58, 75 and 48 in three separate games.
Josh Gordon has shown some flashes in the new system, but could benefit greatly from gaining another running mate, as could slot extraordinaire Julian Edelman.
Adding Jackson would give New England arguably the most electric offense in the NFL and help sustain the career shelf-life of the quarterback.
In exchange, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would likely be looking at an addition by subtraction situation where Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries see expanded roles in the offense. Added draft picks would aid in plugging any future holes starting in 2019.
For a front office unsure of their job security in 2019, this would be one of the more surprising moves due to the lack of impact player brought in for 2018. But, given the rapport Winston already has with Humphries and the improved connection we’ve seen in short periods between he and Godwin from 2017, it could happen.
TRADE PARTNER: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
This is one of the more popular destinations for Jackson to land as a return to Philadelphia would certainly become one of the bigger stories in the league this year.
Philadelphia hasn’t come back from their Super Bowl run with the greatest success this year, but they are still very much in the mix for an NFC East division title and post-season berth.
They’re well aware of what Jackson can do, and can still do, after witnessing his four catch 129-yard and one touchdown effort against them in Week 2 of this very season.
What would the Eagles offer up? Well, unfortunately it doesn’t seem they have a whole lot to offer the Buccaneers which would help in an area of need. There are some intriguing young cornerbacks the Eagles could potentially leverage in a package with a mid to late round draft pick.
However, all of the corners in question have had issues themselves and could bust as much as they could fly in Tampa Bay’s secondary.
TRADE PARTNER: DALLAS COWBOYS
Gross. Seeing Jackson in a Redskins uniform was one thing, but seeing him in a Cowboys uniform would be something suitable for Halloween.
Still, the Dallas Cowboys aren’t calling this season in and are still trying to find things to do to help quarterback Dak Prescott get back on track.
Trading a first-round pick for wide receiver Amari Cooper will help, but there’s more which could be done.
Stretching the field will not only help Prescott and his new target, but it would also help running back Ezekiel Elliott continue his solid start to his career.
The Cowboys have scored just three points more than the New York Giants who sat at 1-6 entering Week 8.
While Dallas’ record is much better than the Giants’, they can’t be confident in what they have going right now.
Again, future draft picks don’t outwardly help the Bucs, but giving guys like Godwin an opportunity to capitalize on early promise could prove to be a solid decision for the future while maintaining some of the offensive effectiveness the team has shown thus far.
TRADE PARTNER: OAKLAND RAIDERS
This is my personal favorite, and that’s why I left it for last. My trade scenario?
Tampa Bay sends DeSean Jackson and a 2019 third-round pick to the Oakland Raiders for cornerback Gareon Conley and safety Karl Joseph.
Conley was very much made the scapegoat for a struggling Raiders defense. Last week, in a 27-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks the Raiders surrendered 222-yards passing and three touchdowns to Russell Wilson.
The benched former first-round pick played zero snaps on defense.
So, Conley isn’t the issue. In fact, the Raiders secondary has done worse than ever with him on the bench.
Well, if Oakland doesn’t want to play him, maybe the Buccaneers do?
Karly Joseph is a safety who has shown many flashes of the talent which led to his also being selected in the first round coming out of West Virginia. He too has been a consistent rumor as a trade possibility for the Raiders this season.
It’s clear Jon Gruden isn’t really interested in most of the young pieces he inherited when he was hired back to the silver and black sideline and it just so happens two of his young guys fit holes the Bucs need to fill.
Jackson doesn’t fill any future holes for Gruden, but he does bring a one-year contract (essentially) which he can then dump in the off-season to free up cap space while giving Derek Carr a guy he can target early and often which might keep him healthy long enough to try and put together whatever Gruden has cooking.
The third round pick is a bit high for my taste, but getting two young first-round picks out of it is worth the gamble.
If both men panned out, then it’s highly likely Jason Licht would be back next offseason, and we all know what he can do despite missing a third-round pick.
Following Week 8 where Jackson finally connected with Winston on a deep ball strike in the second quarter, and following Ryan Fitzpatrick’s insertion late in the second half, it’s possible the two sides could come back to center.
Who the starting quarterback is moving forward may play a part in how the star receiver feels, but if the franchise’s general manager is being forthright, Jackson will likely finish the year in pewter anyway.
Maybe DeSean Jackson will retract his request? pic.twitter.com/BJsCSqTU5t— David Harrison (@DH82_Bucs) October 28, 2018
Which trade for DeSean Jackson should Jason Licht execute?
This poll is closed
GB for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
NE for Picks
PHI for picks/young defensive back(s)
DAL for Picks
OAK for Conley and Joseph
None of the Above (Comment)
Keep D-Jax in Tampa
As stated earlier, this is pure speculation at this point as no confirmed trade partners have been identified, if there are any at all.
Jason Licht has stated he has no interest in trading Jackson and that they feel he’s an important part to the playoff push they plan to make. Still, if the right call comes in, I’d find it hard to believe he wouldn’t at least entertain the offer.
Whatever happens, it’ll all be resolved by Tuesday’s deadline with all parties knowing exactly where their 2018 season will end.