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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs give recently-reinstated Tanard Jackson a contract extension



The Buccaneers have given safety Tanard Jackson a very big vote of confidence -- and a huge incentive a stay clean.

The team just put the finishing touches today on a contract extension that takes Jackson's contract through the end of the 2012 season, while also giving him a raise for this season.

Jackson returned to the Bucs two weeks ago after a year-long suspension for violations of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. He immediately was placed in the starting lineup and recorded an interception in his first game back, a win over the Saints. He followed that performance with an interception against the Bears in London last Sunday.

The Bucs saw fit to make sure they kept Jackson around longer, approaching him with the contract extension last week. The new deal calls for Jackson to make a base salaries of $1.454 million this season (prorated over the final 10 games) and $2 million in 2012, according to figures from the NFL Players Association. Before now, Jackson's contract was scheduled to expire at the end of this season and he previously was on the books for $600,000 in base salary for 2011. It's not clear what, if any, portions of the contract are guaranteed.

After two suspensions for substance-abuse issues in 2009 and 2010, the fact that the Bucs opted to do this speaks volumes about their firm faith in his ability to stay clean.

"The Bucs have been tremendously supportive of him all along," agent Peter Schaffer said. "Tampa Bay believes he's made a positive change in his life and that he's taken every possible step to go in a positive direction. No one's ever out of the woods, but they really believe in him and I believe in him."

Jackson spent time at an inpatient rehab facility during his absence from the league, and has vowed to not repeat his mistakes. Likewise, the Bucs have stressed that they believe he will not have a relapse.

[Last modified: Thursday, October 27, 2011 4:55pm]


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