The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a free agent receiver away from turning their offense around and making QB Jameis Winston a household name outside of crab legs. With DeSean Jackson hitting the FA market the Bucs should do whatever they have to in order to land the speedster. Pairing Jackson with Mike Evans will give the Bucs the explosive offense they have lacked for, I can’t recall the last time their offense was this dangerous.
In 2016, Winston passed for a career-high 4090 yards but that wasn’t his best stat. His completion percentage rose three points to 61 percent and it came during a season in which he threw more passes than 2015. Many tend to forget that Winston just completed his 2nd full season in the NFL. While media experts are drooling over the likes of Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, and Derek Carr, what Winston has done has flown under the radar.
How is this possible?
The Bucs offense is predictable. Their running back situation is a mess but that’s due to the coaches. There is talent in the backfield with Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers splitting carries as they did last season. However, for Winston to take that next step he will need another pass catcher to take away the pressure of staring down Evans before releasing the ball in his direction. Evans caught 96 passes for 1321 yards and 12 touchdowns on 178 targets. Great numbers, now imagine how good they would be if there was another threat.
Jackson still has some bounce in his step. His seasons with the Redskins have been quiet but he still has produced to the tune of 142 catches for 2702 yards and 14 touchdowns. However, his biggest contribution to the Bucs offense will be his average of 19 yards per catch. Evans averages 14 yards which will give the Bucs possibly the highest duo in the NFL. What this shows is that Jackson still has that elite speed that made him so dangerous early on in his career with the Philadelphia Eagles.
If Winston can hit Jackson across the middle, he can easily turn a 5-yard reception into a 30-40 yard gain with his legs. With a player like that on one side and Evans on the other, it will also open up better running lanes for the backs. Winston has progressed but it will be hard for him to continue unless the Bucs front office can surround him with the proper weapons.
It starts with Jackson.