DeSean Jackson may win the war, but the Bucs will nevertheless fight the P.R. battle.
By reportedly asking for a trade before the 2018 deadline, Jackson made it clear that he wants to leave Tampa. The Buccaneers apparently are ready for him to leave. Or, at a minimum, to make him look bad on his way out.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (via JoeBucsFan.com) reported late last week on the various issues that have plagued Jackson’s time in Tampa.
The problems emerged in 2017, Jackson’s first season with the team. Per Stroud, the team fined Jackson “extensively for being late to meetings and sometimes [falling] asleep in them.” Jackson also rarely took notes in meetings, according to Stroud.
“Just before Christmas last year, he played cards in the locker room with his former Washington teammate, defensive tackle Chris Baker, and was late to a meeting,” Stroud writes regarding Jackson. “When told he would be fined again, Jackson erupted and kicked over a display Bucs receivers were using for a secret Santa gift exchange. He then became involved in a physical altercation with one of his coaches and had to be restrained by a teammate.”
None of this came out last year, presumably because the Bucs wanted to try to make it work. Indeed, when given the chance to trade Jackson in October, G.M. Jason Licht was steadfast in his position that Jackson wouldn’t be leaving. Now that the Bucs apparently have decided to give Jackson what he wants, things that otherwise remained secret will emerge.
Jackson surely would have trade value, even with the team airing dirty laundry that had remained in the hamper for more than a year. And there’s still a chance that the post-2018 configuration of the organization could entail a coaching staff that embraces Jackson, causing him to perhaps change his mind about leaving. That said, he’d need to be very confident that he fits into the offensive plans, and he’d need to have plenty of confidence in the new coaching staff.