Bucs to sign WR DeSean Jackson: 3 things to know

10News reporter Justin Granit has a moment with the Bucs' newest gamebreaker.

What Jameis Winston wants, Jameis Winston gets.

The Buccaneers are closing in on an agreement with free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson, just weeks after the Buccaneers quarterback publicly lobbied for Jackson to sign with Tampa Bay.

In Jackson, 30, the Bucs are getting one of the premier deep threats in the league, who will immediately jump-start Tampa Bay's passing offense. Here's what you need to know about the signing, which can become official at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Jackson is fast. Really fast.

With the exception of Mike Evans, the Buccaneers offense has been lacking a dynamic playmaker to stretch the field. That's not the case any longer.

Jackson's blazing 4.35 speed in the 40-yard dash has been on display for years with the Redskins. Yes, he's getting up there in age, but the Cal product can still move. The NFL's "Next Gen Stats", which highlights the league's fastest players, lists Jackson with the third-fastest play in the league last season, a 22.6 mph catch and run in Week 13 on a 59-yard pass play.

Simply put, Jackson can fly. He led the league last season with 17.9 yards per reception. By comparison, Evans per-catch average was 13.8.

The deep ball is coming to the Bucs offense

Get ready to see Winston sling the ball down field.

The Bucs were the only team in the NFL last season without a reception of 50 or more yards. Jackson had four of 50+ himself.

His presence allows Winston to go for the home run ball more often than not, given Jackson's speed and ability to stretch the field. According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson ranked third in the league last year on deep balls, with 36 percent of his targets traveling 20 yards in the air. He caught 16 of those 32 passes.

Oh, and only two receivers had more deep targets than Jackson last year, and one of them was Evans. Defensive coordinators are about to have nightmares game planning for this passing attack.

The Bucs have to keep pace with the rest of the high-scoring offenses in the NFC South, and Jackson's addition helps them do just that.

He's going to be one of the Bucs' highest-paid players

The Bucs had plenty of money to spend this offseason, and Jackson will reap the benefits. His terms, when finalized, should command a salary in the $10 million per-year range, placing him behind Gerald McCoy ($15.8M) and Lavonte David ($10.05M) as one of the team's highest-paid players.

However, he'll be making less than the receiver he's replacing, Vincent Jackson, who took in $11.1 million in 2016.

 

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