Most believed a year ago that the deep threat ability of Desean Jackson was the piece to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense that had the team had been sorely missing. A year later, many observers of the team feel that the speedy wider receiver is just an extra piece.
The Buccaneers gave both star receiver Mike Evans and number two receiver Cameron Brate lengthy contract extensions and it is presumed that Chris Goodwin and O.J. Howard, both impressive in their rookie seasons, will see more time on the field in the upcoming season.
Many believe the writing is on the wall for Jackson and that he will not be a member of the Buccaneers organization for much longer.
Jackson is in the second year of a three-year contract worth $33.5 million with the team that is set to pay him $11 million this season with $7.5 million of this season’s salary being guaranteed. Jackson’s salary for next season is $10 million with none of the money guaranteed.
The Buccaneers have a lot to consider in regards to Jackson’s contract as the team presently has $35.2 million of salary cap space allocated to the wide receiver position. The Dallas Cowboys are the only team whose spending on the wide receivers position comes close at $33.9 million and the league average for the position is a much lower $20.9 million.
The Bucs have $10 million of free salary cap space at the moment which will be enough to cover the contracts of this year’s draft picks but then leave the team pretty much out of money.
The salary cap will increase by $10 million dollars next year but this space is expected to go quickly as many key players have contracts that increase in value next season. To put this matter in perspective, the contract of quarterback Jameis Winston will increase from $8 million in 2018 to $20 million in 2019 if the team decides to pick up the option year of his contract.
Once all factors are considered there is little incentive to keep Jackson around as his production for the 2017 season showed a dramatic drop from 2016.