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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Are Bucs ready to move on from DeSean Jackson?

Florida Football Insiders

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The ongoing soap opera involving Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson and specifically, his unhappiness about how he’s being utilized, may about to be resolved.

As our headline states, we’re about to find out if the Bucs have moved on from the prized speedy free agent wide receiver they got two seasons ago, or if they still believe he can help them at the end of this season, and also, for 2019?

That’s because Jackson was inactive again for the second straight week with a thumb injury. However, that’s not apparently the whole story.

It is also widely believed the Jackson has become such a malcontent over how he hasn’t been used in the Bucs offense as the season has worn on, particularly on deep throws, that Tampa Bay may be using the injury to keep him out of the lineup and away from the team while still being paid.

It was interesting that Jackson was apparently nowhere to be found for the second straight Bucs home game on Sunday, including not being around the sidelines, even while inactive, to support his teammates

His apparent absence Sunday speaks volumes considering the reports back in October that Jackson had gone to Buccaneers management and specifically, GM Jason Licht, requesting to be traded. This was directly related to Jackson feeling like he had been under used and been missed too many times on deep throws specifically by quarterback Jameis Winston last year and during their brief time playing together this season.

Jackson had had an explosive start to the season, and we even wrote about him in October being at or near the top of several NFL receiving stats with his productivity.

The Buccaneers denied the trade request reports, and Jackson has refused to say whether he had asked to be traded or not. And Tampa Bay has had an up-and-down middle of the season at quarterback. Even after hitting Jackson with deep passes in each of the first two wins to start the season, when Ryan Fitzpatrick floundered in two losses at Carolina and at the Giants, he went back to the bench.

Jackson suffered his thumb injury after an interception late in that Giants game, while trying to help make a tackle. He still played the following week against San Francisco with Winston back in at starting quarterback.

And in that game, Jackson was obviously upset, on more than one occasion on the field, with the ball either being thrown over him or at his feet. Even as the Bucs were winning in the fourth quarter 27 – 9, when Jackson was missed by Winston on a potential completion on third down and the Bucs were forced to punt, he came running off the field and threw his helmet towards the bench in disgust.

Obviously those kind of antics, especially in victory get noticed, including by coach Dirk Koetter, and now, Jackson has not been around for the last two games. Tampa Bay won the first one with Carolina to keep their faint playoff hopes alive, but they were beaten Sunday by New Orleans all but eliminating them at 5-8.

That current situation with three games left is also a factor in any decision to activate Jackson again, and play him in the final three games. If there’s no postseason to play for and you’ve already decided that you’re going to move on from him after this year, then why not continue to feature younger receivers like Chris Godwin and rookie Justin Watson and give them the playing time?

We will know more when Jackson either attempts to practice later this week or not. And obviously, if he is not active for the game with Baltimore, it would all but signal he’s likely finished in Tampa Bay.

The Bucs can release Jackson in the off-season and save $10 million next year.

They may also be able to find an offseason trade partner for some type of compensation for him, as he is under contract for next season

One thing is for sure, this is Jackson’s third team, and in all three situations, including apparently in Tampa, he’s eventually worn out his welcome.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.

Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?

Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.

Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,

Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:

“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”

“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option? 

The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.

After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”

While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.

Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.

The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.

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Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?

First, the team released another video with clues about them intending to change their uniform and potentially alter their logo:

The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:

“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”

As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.

This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,

The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.

NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.

It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.

The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.

Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.

So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.

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