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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Extending Tanard Jackson's contract gives Bucs more certainty at safety



When the Bucs gave Tanard Jackson a contract extension on Thursday, it was more than just a nod to one of their best defensive players.

Locking up Jackson gives the Bucs a little security at an important position. There is likely some uncertainty ahead when it comes to Tampa Bay's safety lineup. If Jackson can stay away from the drugs that have twice resulted in suspensions, the Bucs know they will at least have his services in the short term.

Here's the situation: Strong safety Sean Jones, who is having a very good season, is scheduled to hit free agency after this season. He has professed his fondness for Tampa Bay, its players and coaches, but football's a business. And it's our opinion that Jones is going to attract some attention if he hits the free agent market.

Another issue: Free safety Cody Grimm, while a solid player, has suffered his second season-ending injury in as many seasons. With his latest being a torn ACL, the Bucs remain hopeful he returns to form. But you have to expect the team will still protect its interests and assume nothing.

All of which brings us back to Jackson. If he can stay off the marijuana -- and this new contract provides some real incentive for him to do that -- the Bucs now have at least have one less thing to worry about on the back end of their defense.

[Last modified: Friday, October 28, 2011 10:13am]


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