Tampa Bay has some decisions to make this offseason that will dictate the future of the franchise. One of the major headscratchers is what to do with veteran receiver DeSean Jackson.
Jackson signed with the Buccaneers in 2017 and many people thought it’d help Jameis Winston take another step forward in his development. Instead, neither player prospered.
The former Philadephia Eagle and Washington Redskin has caught just a total of 91 passes for 1,442 yards and seven touchdowns during his two seasons in Tampa. To put that in perspective, Mike Evans caught 86 passes for 1,524 yards and eight touchdowns in 2018 alone.
It’s clear that Winston and Jackson haven’t been able to develop much chemistry. Winston acknowledged it was something he and the veteran receiver needed to work on. But with Jackson’s comments on practice earlier this week, I’m just not sure if this relationship is fixable.
In an interview on “Schein on Sports” on Friday, Winston was asked if he was concerned that Jackson might potentially not be on the roster next season. His answer basically said it all.
“No, I’m not concerned about DJax not being there,” Winston said. “We know he is a tremendous talent. I want to go out there with DeSean Jackson but at the end of the day, this is a business and DeSean is a superstar. And wherever the superstar wants to be, that’s where the superstar is going to go.”
Jackson has already mentioned an affinity to head west to play for the Los Angeles Rams. Tampa Bay could grant him that wish with a potential trade or by releasing him later this offseason. The move would save the Bucs $10 million to invest elsewhere.
Or they could try to mend the relationship between their star quarterback and Jackson. New head coach Bruce Arians wants to keep the receiver in Tampa Bay and says he has a meeting scheduled with Jackson next week. Arians could be the party that mends the dysfunction between Winston and Jackson.
Regardless, it’s clear that Tampa Bay has a choice to make, one way or the other. Is this relationship worth fixing? Or should the Bucs try to trade Jackson for whatever they can and at a last resort cut him?
Only time will tell how this situation shakes out.