Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports named Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ receiver DeSean Jackson as one of the top ten trade candidates in the NFL.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a big splash in free agency last year, signing the explosive receiver DeSean Jackson to come in and compliment the already established number one guy in Mike Evans. Fans rejoiced, celebrated, and impatiently awaited the season – and Jackson’s impact.
Then, things fell apart.
No, DJax didn’t have the impact we all believed he would. Now, that doesn’t necessarily fall squarely on his shoulders. Jameis Winston was playing injured, affecting his ability to throw the ball accurately downfield. Yes, there were a few plays where it seemed DJax didn’t give 100% effort.
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There is also the questions surrounding the way he was used. As I – and many, many others – repeatedly said, Dirk Koetter needed to get Jackson more involved in the short-to-intermediate passing game, rather than only being used on go routes and sideline routes, virtually eliminating his big play speed.
Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports recently named the NFL’s top ten trade candidates and featured very prominently towards the top was DeSean Jackson. Here’s what Wilson had to say;
"Jackson, 31, had 50 receptions for 668 yards and 3 touchdowns last season and ranked 45th in total value among all wideouts, according to Football Outsiders. With reports that the team wants to get 2017 third-round burner Chris Godwin more involved (34 receptions, 525 yards, 1 TD as a rookie), moving on from Jackson makes some sense. The Bucs have just $6.5 million in salary cap space (rank: 26th) and Jackson’s set to earn $11 million in base salary next season. Trading him after June 1 wouldn’t cost anything in dead money and would result in a ’18 cap savings of $11 million."
This is an absolutely awful idea.
For starters, Godwin isn’t a proven commodity at this moment. He isn’t going to draw the defensive attention that someone like DJax will. He doesn’t have the game breaking speed DJax does, causing game planning issues for defensive coordinators. Yes, Godwin looks like he may have the makings of a special player, but he’s only entering his second season and came away with one touchdown – in the final offensive play of the final game – last season.
Next, let’s say Jackson does get traded. That the coaching staff and front office believe enough in Godwin that he slides into the number two spot opposite Evans. Then, for argument’s sake, let’s say Godwin gets injured. That puts the Buccaneers in virtually the exact same spot they were in 2016 when Evans was the only true receiving threat on the team. That’s the reason the Bucs went out and got DeSean Jackson in the first place.
The Buccaneers really don’t gain anything by moving Jackson this year. Unless someone blows them away with an insane offer, DJax and the Buccaneers are better off together in 2018 than apart. Now, the Buccaneers can move on from him after the season with no dead money if 2018 doesn’t work out either, but why not keep the threat in Tampa Bay to continue to try to make it work the way so many envisioned it?
If it’s more of the same, you move on. However, if Jackson becomes the big play threat he was signed to be, that could add a level to the offense that can springboard them into the postseason rather than finishing last in the NFC South yet again.