Tampa Bay Buccaneers Take Back Prodigal Son Tanard Jackson

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IOctober 12, 2011

Tanard Jackson is back with the Bucs. (Getty Images).
Tanard Jackson is back with the Bucs. (Getty Images).Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Forgive me for not gushing with excitement and enthusiasm over the return of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' prodigal son—Tanard Jackson.

Sorry, but this one is just not worth much more than a whoop-tee-doo.

Sure, you can tell us what a great help he'll be in the secondary—but really, after watching five games now, you must realize that the Buccaneers have problems one man cannot solve, much less one who has proven unreliable as a man off the field.

Hopefully this young guy has gotten the help he needs. He has done himself great harm financially. Jackson is in the fourth and final year of a very modest contract. He was scheduled to earn $550,000 this season.

But, with five games down, he's cost himself $160,000, plus he would have made $550,000 last year, so that's a little more than $700,000. Just to put it in perspective at this moment, ask yourself how $700,000 would impact your life right now.

More than that, "T-Jax" (as his teammates call him) cost himself a huge new contract. He's an unrestricted free agent after this year, and he lost one big contract. He was earning his way to an elite contract when he simply couldn't overcome whatever illegal substance he was abusing.

These careers are short, these big incomes are rare.

Jackson and the Buccaneers are, in a way, in the same boat today.

The Buccaneers are at the crossroads in their season. They got hammered last week, and San Francisco players said that Raheem Morris' guys quit.

"They quit!" blurted Steve Duemig on his Monday show on 620WDAE radio.

If they did indeed quit, Morris has a huge problem on his hands with the character of his team.

Likewise, Jackson has reached his crossroads, his last chance. He quit on his team when he deemed some illegal substance more important than being there for his teammates.

When Jackson will play remains to be seen.

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has his own radio show—for the life of me I can't figure out why—and McCoy claims Jackson could play Sunday.

Mark Dominik, in so many words, told us McCoy simply doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

"Tanard has not played football in 56 weeks," Dominic said at Tuesday's "Welcome Back Cotter" presser for Jackson. "He hasn't practiced very much in terms of real football drills."

So don't look for him on the field Sunday, despite what Gerald is blabbering about.

The Bucs have other problems to boot. They're scrambling at the linebacker position. Quincy Black is still hurt, and so is Zac Diles.

There's one for you. Raise your hand if you knew Zac Diles was playing.

They've had to sign a guy named Jacob Cutreta from Jacksonville's practice squad. Nothing says desperation like claiming guys from 1-4 Jacksonville, a team that couldn't recognize talent if it had to.

Nope, things aren't looking too good right now.

But you can always look on the bright side—at least the Bucs won't have to worry about jet lag on Sunday.