Even throughout all of the losing and roster holes in the last few years for the Buccaneers, there has been at least one constant. The team’s receiving group has been deep, possibly one of the deepest in the entire league. All of a sudden, that could be changing this offseason.
DeSean Jackson has wanted out since the middle of the 2018 season, so fans have grown accustomed to the idea of him being gone in 2019. In a lot of cases, fans are even to the point where they desperately want it to happen. Jameis Winston is the guy at quarterback going forward. Jackson has little to no chemistry with him, and he doesn’t seem like he cares enough to work on it. Why keep that guy on your roster, especially when his cap hit for 2019 is $10 million?
So, yes, cutting Jackson makes sense as a standalone move. It’s probably even the preferred course of action at this point. But add to that the fact that Adam Humphries is a free agent — one that the Bucs might not be able to bring back based on what he can demand in terms of money — and you have an issue on your hands. With both Jackson and Humphries potentially gone, that deep receiving corps that the team has grown to know would suddenly be thinned out.
The top two would still be excellent. Mike Evans is a No. 1 guy regardless, and having Chris Godwin step into the No. 2 role is both well-deserved and extremely exciting. But the problem arises from there. Who becomes the No. 3 guy if Jackson and Humphries are gone? Is it Justin Watson, a second-year guy out of Penn who never played more than a few snaps here and there during his rookie year? Is it Bobo Wilson? Both of those guys could break out and be reliable, but they’re still unknowns.
Having a strong tight end group helps reduce some of the sting of losing two of your top receivers, but there’s still something uneasy about turning your depth into top-line guys and having to bring in new depth behind them.
Of course, this is all hypothetical. It doesn’t take into account any possible signings or draft picks the team could make to fill out the group. But with a tough cap situation and so many needs to address elsewhere, it’s concerning that one of the team’s strongest positions is suddenly a question mark.
Where do you stand? Are you keeping Jackson or throwing more money at Humphries to avoid having a problem on your hands? It won’t be long before we see what the Bucs decide to do.