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NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Saturday that Arians is preparing to reach out to Jackson to try to mend the relationship between the wideout and the Buccaneers:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
From @gmfb Weekend: New #Bucs coach Bruce Arians is planning to re-recruit WR DeSean Jackson with hopes that he wants to stay in Tampa. BA does love a good downfield threat https://t.co/aqXHy193mu
Jackson requested a trade from Tampa Bay prior to the 2018 NFL trade deadline.
He still has one year and $10 million remaining on the three-year, $33.5 million deal he signed with the Buccaneers back in March 2017.
The 32-year-old formed a great connection with backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick early on in 2018 as starter Jameis Winston served a personal conduct suspension, recording three 100-yard games in the first four weeks of the season. However, he failed to reach that mark after September and finished the year with 774 yards.
Not only that, but he also found the end zone just once after Week 2.
Although Jackson is still putting up respectable numbers, he has not been able to reach the 1,000-yard mark since arriving in Tampa Bay. In two seasons with the Buccaneers, he has 91 receptions for 1,442 yards and seven touchdowns.
To put it in perspective, he had five 1,000-yard campaigns in nine years prior joining the Buccaneers, including one in his final season in Washington in 2016.
Jackson has been one of the biggest playmaking threats in the league since being drafted back in 2008. The 5’10”, 175-pound wideout has led the NFL in yards per reception (minimum of 40 receptions) in two of the past three years, including this past season (18.9 yards per catch). His ability to stretch the field figures to fit perfectly in Arians’ system.
It’s not clear if the Arians hiring will lead to Jackson wanting to play out his deal in Tampa Bay, but it’s important to remember he is currently still under contract with the team.