In the second column in the “What if” series, we will discuss the future of DeSean Jackson. The speedy wideout who has been a polarizing figure his entire career. He has spent time with the Eagles, Redskins, and now the Buccaneers he has left his mark with each team. And not always for the better.
In two seasons with the Bucs he has underwhelmed overall. With just 1,442 yards and 7 TD’s. Before coming to Tampa Bay he was still a 1,000 yard receiver. His recent drop off in production though is mostly being blamed on his lack of chemistry with QB Jameis Winston.
It has been mentioned by media and fans alike that Winston has trouble with accuracy on deep passes. That point can be thoroughly debated, but I think Jackson’s struggles go deeper than QB accuracy.
The most critical part that a player can bring to any team is his intangibles. These subtle qualities will amplify both positive and negative characteristics of a player. During his tenure in Tampa Bay, his intangibles haven’t seemed to jive well with the rest of the team.
His rare speed and talents as a receiver though may be too much for the Bucs to simply let Jackson leave. He is under contract through next season, but could be released with zero cap hit. Simply put, the Bucs front office is in control of his future for next season.
So what if the Bucs decide to keep DeSean Jackson? That is the very question Jason Licht and Bruce Arians are pondering now before the start of free agency. To answer that question, they must decide if Arians and his staff can reign in Jackson while getting the most out of his talent.
History will tell you that without a doubt he has the ability. As he has had a knack for doing so, and I’m sure he believes that Jackson situation will be no different.
If they decide to retain Jackson it could prove to be disastrous. It could impact the locker room more negatively than it has before. And could also hinder the development of Jameis Winston. That would be the last thing this team needs in a year where man expect them to take a step forward.
Th bottom line is that the decision to keep the DeSean Jackson experiment alive for another year could prove to be a misuse of precious cap space, and another example of a failed Licht free agent signing.