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DeSean Jackson to Sign Contract with Raiders After Rams Release

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVNovember 8, 2021

Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders are adding a three-time Pro Bowler to their offense, as wide receiver DeSean Jackson told USA Today's Josina Anderson on Sunday that he is going to the team.

This comes after the Los Angeles Rams announced that they released the 34-year-old after they were unable to trade him prior to the Nov. 2 deadline.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported the Rams and Jackson "explored trade possibilities" and the wide receiver would have been open to potentially staying. However, the decision to release him gave him the opportunity to search for a team that could offer him more playing time.

"I think what it boils down to is opportunities that I think he's deserving of and the situation and some of the circumstances that surround him," Rams head coach Sean McVay told reporters.

Los Angeles signed Jackson to a one-year contract prior to the 2021 campaign with the hope he could be a deep threat alongside Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, who are more known for their underneath routes as possession receivers.

Yet the emergence of Van Jefferson as the team's third receiver left little playing time for the University of California product, who had just eight catches for 221 yards and one touchdown through seven games at the time of his release.

There was a time when Jackson, who was a second-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008, was one of the top deep threats in the league.

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He has played for the Eagles, Washington Football Team, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rams and has five seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards on his resume.

However, he is in his mid-30s and appeared in just three games in 2019 and five games in 2020 before struggling to find a role with Los Angeles in 2021.

Perhaps he can rediscover some of his old explosiveness with the Raiders while catching passes from Derek Carr.

If he does, Las Vegas will have quite the combination with Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow catching passes on underneath routes and Jackson looking to take the top off the defense on deep routes.

The Raiders are 5-3 and in first in the AFC West. They now have a low-risk, high-reward addition who can give the aerial attack another weapon as they look to make a playoff push in the season's stretch run.

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