Tanard Jackson update
Because questions about Bucs safety Tanard Jackson keep coming via email and on Twitter, perhaps we should give a refresher on his status.
Jackson, you might remember, was suspended indefinitely last September for his latest violation of the league's substance abuse policy. He is eligible to apply for reinstatement on September 22, though there's no assurance that his request will be granted. There are discussions ongoing about disciplinary procedures under the new collective bargaining agreement, so it's unclear if the same process will be in place next month. But under the old CBA, Jackson would apply to commissioner Roger Goodell who ultimately would make a decision based on Jackson's progress or lack thereof.
In the meantime, Jackson cannot practice with the Bucs, even during training camp. That's a misconception held by many readers.
The Bucs retain Jackson's rights because he did not reach the free agency threshold as a result of losing 2010 as a credited season. If and when Jackson is welcomed back the Bucs -- and the prevailing wisdom is that he will be -- he'll likely have some time to begin practicing with the team before the club has to make a decision about placing him on the active roster. Jackson attended the players-only minicamp in June during the NFL lockout and appeared to be in good shape. But it's impossible to glean much from those light workouts in Bradenton.
For now, Cody Grimm remains the starting free safety and likely will for the foreseeable future. With nearly two months remaining before the Bucs even lay eyes on Jackson, the show must go on, and it will.