DeSean Jackson, Buccaneers Reportedly Agree to 3-Year Contract

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2017

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 24:   DeSean Jackson #11 of the Washington Redskins carries the football ahead of  Johnthan Banks #35 of the Chicago Bears in the first quarter at Soldier Field on December 24, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images

DeSean Jackson proved throughout the 2016 season that he still has the speed necessary to blow the top off of opposing defenses, and he parlayed that status into a lucrative deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported Thursday.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the two sides agreed to terms on a three-year, $35 million deal, with $20 million guaranteed.

Jackson told reporters on Saturday that playing with a great quarterback was one of his biggest criteria when picking a new team. 

Jackson spent three seasons with the Washington Redskins after he was unceremoniously cut by Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles, and he maintained his label as one of the league's most explosive vertical threats. 

The nine-year veteran erupted for 1,169 yards and six touchdowns during the 2014 campaign in the nation's capital, and he kept things rolling in 2016 after he was limited to 10 appearances in 2015 due to various bumps and bruises.

Last year, Jackson posted 56 catches for 1,005 yards, four touchdowns and a league-best mark of 17.9 yards per reception over the course of 15 games. 

DeSean Jackson's Career Stats
SeasonGamesReceptionsRec. YdsYPCTD
2008166291214.72
200915621,15618.69
201014471,05622.56
2011155896116.64
2012114570015.62
201316821,33216.29
201415561,16920.96
2015103052817.64
201615561,00517.94
Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com

According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, Jackson leads all players with seven seasons in which he's tallied at least 40 receptions total and better than 15 yards per catch dating back to 2008. Vincent Jackson, Calvin Johnson and Nate Washington rank tied for second in that time span given those statistical qualifiers. 

"When he wants to be elite, he is elite," Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins said, according to the Washington Post's Liz Clarke. "I mean, he is the real deal on every single route in the playbook, in the route tree. He can run every single one of them. He plays bigger than his size."

And even though he'll turn 31 toward the end of the 2017 season, Jackson hasn't displayed much evidence that his speed is starting to wane. 

So while he may not be a true No. 1 option in terms of pure receiving volume, the burner has the downfield playmaking capabilities necessary to help open up the rest of the Buccaneers offense and clear things out underneath for a team that could benefit from more schematic diversity. 

Plus, Jackson will be able to apply pressure on defenses in tandem with Mike Evans—who has established himself as one of the NFL's more physical and dynamic vertical threats over the past three seasons. 

For quarterback Jameis Winston, that's a dream come true considering no other receiver on Tampa Bay's roster last season outside of Evans topped 700 yards. 

And after the Bucs ranked an average 16th in passing yards per game (245.4) last season, they appear primed for a leap forward now that Jackson will be lining up opposite Evans as he comprises half of one of the NFC's most dynamic receiving tandems.