The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are adding a deep threat to their receiving corps in free agency, as the team is expected to sign free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson, according to multiple reports.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2017
The three-time Pro Bowl receiver was considered one of the top free agents to hit the market this offseason following his fifth 1,000-yard plus receiving season in 2016, and joins a Buccaneers team that looks to be on the rise after posting the franchise’s first winning record (9-7) since 2010.
Pairing Jackson alongside standout wide receiver Mike Evans should give opposing defenses fits in the NFC South and the rest of the league. Evans is coming off a season in which he recorded career-highs in receptions (96) and receiving yards (1,321), and should benefit from the addition of Jackson, as he will open up the field for Tampa Bay’s 6-foot-5, 231-pound receiver.
Jackson, 30, will join his third franchise in Tampa Bay after spending the first nine years of his NFL career in the NFC East with the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. The former second-round pick out of California has amassed 498 receptions for 8,819 yards and has scored 53 total touchdowns during the course of his career.
The Buccaneers are clearly looking to make a push in a strong NFC South division that includes the past two NFC Champions. Tampa Bay’s front office is expected to fill a much-needed hole at the wide receiver position with the signing of Jackson, but have plenty of other questions that need to be answered, particularly within their secondary and backfield.
Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston showed improvement in his second season under center in Tampa Bay, and should greatly benefit from the addition of Jackson, as he has the ability to keep opposing safeties guessing. The Buccaneers’ longest reception of 2016 was Evans’ 45-yard touchdown reception, which came in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Jackson brings an immediate deep threat to Tampa’s offense, as the 5-foot-10, 175-pound receiver has recorded a minimum of at least one 60-yard reception in every season since entering the league and had five receptions of 40-plus yards in 2016.