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DeSean Jackson officially requested a trade from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in October of 2018. The 32-year-old just finished his eleventh season in the league and second with the Bucs. Jackson was on fire through the first six weeks of the season, averaging 23,86 yards per reception and 100.2 receiving yards per game. Things went downhill from there though and Jackson finished the season with just 41 receptions, 774 receiving yards, and four receiving touchdowns. The former Pro Bowler recently revealed where he wants to play next season: Los Angeles with the Rams.
Do you know who the Rams have at wide receiver right now? Robert Woods led the team with 1,219 receiving yards in 2018. It was the 26-year-old’s first 1,000-yard season, but he’s shown this kind of potential for two or maybe even three years now. He was on the Buffalo Bills before so it’s hard to fault him for not producing early on in his career. Brandin Cooks, who is arguably the team’s true top receiver, finished the season with 1,204 receiving yards. It was his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard year. The 25-year-old speedster is under contract through the end of the 2023 season.
The Rams also have Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds on the roster. Kupp tore his ACL in Week 10 and went on injured reserve, but if played every game he was pacing 80 receptions, 1,132 receiving yards, and 12 receiving touchdowns. While he is already 25, 2018 was just Kupp’s second professional season. If he gets healthy, he will make the Rams’ receiving corps the deepest in the league. Josh Reynolds isn’t a pushover either. The second-year soon to be 24-year-old started eight games in 2018 and finished with 402 receiving yards and five touchdowns. At 6-3, he’s the best red zone target among the Rams receivers.
Those are four reasons why Jackson won’t be headed to Los Angeles. The Rams simply don’t need him. They have a possession receiver, speed receiver, slot receiver, and a jump ball receiver. That leaves no room for an aging speedster. Besides, Jackson is set to make $10 million in 2019 on his current contract. Woods will make $6,177,504, Cooks will earn $15,259,00, Kupp will get $1,049,690, and Reynolds will earn $807,005 including bonuses according to spotrac. While Cooks is getting a lot, Jackson is set to make more than Woods, Kupp, and Reynolds combined for much less production and upside. The Bucs receiver won’t be allowed to step foot in LA with that current contract. He’d need to take a massive pay cut to even get a shot, and I don’t see him doing that.
Jackson revealed his preferred destination on the Simms and Lefkoe Podcast on January 29. He officially cited he’d like a change of scenery because he wants to go to a team that knows the needs of a veteran player. “Bro, I’m in my 11th year. Like, lets calm it down a little bit.” Jackson said. I can hardly blame Jackson for wanting to extend his career, and frankly, if he’s still able to show up on Sunday and produce, then you want him to rest and preserve his body as much as possible. If this is about extending the career of one of only 49 receivers in NFL history with more than 10,000 receiving yards, then I think Jackson should do whatever it takes to find a situation that works with him. As long as he still has it on Sundays.
That being said, he’s going to have to look somewhere other than LA. Even his top attribute, his speed, isn’t needed there. Jackson’s official 40-time is 4.35 seconds. Cooks runs the 40 in 4.33 seconds, and he’s seven years younger. While Jackson showed in 2018 that he’s still capable of making big plays and burning secondaries, the Rams would be crazy to make a play for him this offseason. The best option for Jackson is to be cut, none of his money for 2019 is guaranteed and then sift through the market for himself.
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