Buccaneers staff knows why Desean Jackson decided to come to town, and he had better earn it on the field.
Offensive coordinator Todd Monken knows exactly why the biggest fish in free agency joined the Buccaneers. He’s not afraid to say so, and he could make things very interesting on Hard Knocks.
We know that the Bucs have worked hard at improving the wide receiver depth chart, giving Jameis Winston more weapons to make his life easier. The biggest move was the addition of DeSean Jackson, whom many believed was the crown jewel of the free agency period. He was brought in as the guy to extend the field for Winston and open things up for Mike Evans.
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To refresh everyone’s memory, Jackson signed a three-year, $35 million contract with the Bucs, including $20 million guaranteed (per Spotrac).
The next step for the Bucs is to end the playoff drought. They came close in 2016, and Jackson has been brought in to help get over that hump. Todd Monken knows why Jackson decided to come to town, and has told him what they, in no uncertain terms (via Rick Stroud):
"“How can we get DeSean Jackson up to playing at a really high level? Not that he’s still not capable of it, but how do we get him to play at why we paid him?’’ Monken said Thursday. “I’ve told him that, ‘we have paid you a hell of a lot of money to be a damn good player. We’re not paying you a lot of money, this is a contract where we’re paying you for what you’ve done for us…we’re not paying like (Derek) Jeter the last three years…we don’t have any old street cred that we’re paying you. No. We need you to be a great player now. Okay? That’s why we gave you the money. “You came here because of the money. Don’t give me all that bull about you came here because of the weather and Jameis. No. You came here because we paid you the most. You need to play like that. He gets that. He’s smart enough to understand that.’’"
First of all, how refreshing is that level of honesty? How can we not love a coach that says, “We paid you, now earn it”? Personally, I hope we get to hear more of this when the team hits Hard Knocks this summer.
Secondly, he is absolutely right. Money not withstanding, Jackson has to put up big numbers for the Bucs to make the jump we are hoping for. If he isn’t playing well, he won’t change the situation for Mike Evans. He has to be an effective target all season long. He must earn that contract he was signed to.
Monken knows what the Bucs need. Can Jackson give it to them?