TAMPA — First, DeSean Jackson was going to be re-recruited by new coach Bruce Arians. Then, Jackson openly lobbied to play for the Los Angeles Rams when appearing in Atlanta during Super Bowl week. Three weeks ago, the Bucs say Jackson met with Arians and indicated he would like to remain with the Bucs.
All of which may just have been a whole lot of smoke to conceal their real effort to trade Jackson.
According to ESPN, the Bucs are actively seeking to trade Jackson, whose preferred destination is the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jackson, 32, is in the final season of a three-year, $33.5-million contract with the Bucs and has $10-million owed for 2019, but none of it is guaranteed.
No word on whether the Eagles or any other team would take on Jackson or his contract. Chances are, they would prefer to wait until he is released.
Today at noon teams can begin contacting free agents with the signing period beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Jackson has made it known he doesn’t like playing with quarterback Jameis Winston, who has had trouble getting him the ball.
Of Jackson’s 774 receiving yards, 561 yards and four of his five touchdowns came from Ryan Fitzpatrick, who completed 71 percent of his targets to him. Winston completed 37.8 percent of his targets to Jackson.
Typically, as soon as the Bucs contacted another ball club about Jackson, that team would’ve assumed he is going to be released.
Jackson and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who is owed $13-million in 2019, are two players the Bucs could release to create significant room under the salary cap.
The Bucs have reportedly made a long-term offer to linebacker Kwon Alexander and have expressed an interest in re-signing Adam Humphries. But both players are expected to test free agency when the signing period begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday.