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Discussion: DeSean Jackson Staying in Tampa Bay

Signs are pointing towards Tampa Bay’s disgruntled star sticking around one more season.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

DeSean Jackson was visibly upset several times on the field in 2018 while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stumbled to a 5-11 finish. The final record isn’t the worst Jackson has been a part of. He was on Washington’s four win team in 2014. But it was the first time in his NFL career he’s been a part of back-to-back losing seasons.

Perhaps it’s the consecutive five-win seasons, or maybe it was the fact he and Jameis Winston still haven’t made what was supposed to be an electric connection quite work out yet. Whatever the reasons, what started as an exciting season for Jackson and the Buccaneers ended with more frustration than ever and a big divide between the team and their star acquisition from 2017.

Then there were the interviews. In November, Jackson commented to reporters about his happiness by saying,

“I can’t say I’m as happy. I’m not winning. I’m not being as productive. For me to sit here and say I’m happy with that, I’d be lying to you..”

This followed reports he’d asked general manager Jason Licht to trade him. Following the end of the season which included a reported falling out between he and then head coach Dirk Koetter, Jackson continued on about his frustrations, saying,

“You have some coaches that have the old-school mentality, where, ‘You gotta go to practice. You gotta do it this way.’ But we’re like, ‘As long as when Sunday comes, in between the white lines we do what it takes, we know what needs to be done..’”

In the same interview on the Simms and Lefkoe Podcast, Jackson dropped the now infamous line about wanting to play with the Los Angeles Rams. A team not only close to home, but just recently coming off a Super Bowl run lead by Sean McVay who knows Jackson dating back to their days in Washington.

To say it was not a good look is an understatement. And while Jackson likely doesn’t care about fan reactions or what the public opinion says about him, it’s not helpful to a franchise trying to get the team on the right track.

Since then, even those who wanted to see Jackson return have started to waiver in their support recently. When eyeballing the Buccaneers’ current cap standing for 2019 and the $10M of free money Licht could get back if the team moves on from Jackson, it’s easy to see how many feel like the team would just be better off giving him his walking papers.

But, the sentiment may not be the same inside of Bucs headquarters. According to JC Cornell, the founder and CEO of The Draft Network, Jackson may not be going anywhere anytime soon.

Appearing on the Locked On Bucs Podcast, Cornell said,

“Do not be surprised. And this very well could happen. That DeSean Jackson stays a Buccaneer in 2019.”

Now, as is the common practice in these matters, sources are not revealed and likely never will be.

However, it’s the first whisper with roots stemming from the team itself that the alienated receiver and the franchise could be taking steps towards starting anew.

Not surprisingly, some will not like the idea of Jackson returning. And while it may all turn out to be a bad idea when it’s all said and done, there’s no doubt the intrigue of what Jackson and Jameis Winston could potential do under Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich is too real to deny.

Cornell didn’t just talk about Jackson though, as his appearance ran the full spectrum of Buccaneers storylines from the off-season. Everything from Jackson to Humphries and even insight into the way Licht and company may be leaning as it pertains to the upcoming NFL Draft.

Check out the entire interview, and drop your thoughts on whether or not you feel like there could be success for Tampa Bay if DeSean Jackson sticks around for what would be the final year on his current contract with the Buccaneers.