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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DeSean Jackson hasn’t heard from Bucs, yet

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
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With all signs pointing to the Bucs ridding themselves of speedy, but often times, headache wide receiver DeSean Jackson after two seasons, Jackson confirmed Thursday that he hasn’t heard from the team or new coach Bruce Arians.

According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport last Sunday, Arians, who just took over the Bucs last week, had been asking for contact info for several players, including Jackson.

Well, upon arriving in Los Angeles after a flight on Thursday morning, the gossip site TMZ caught up with the veteran wide receiver and he confirmed them that “mum is the word” from Tampa Bay:

Jackson, an 11 year veteran, repeated a couple of times “that’s what I got (sic) an agent for” in response to questions about whether he would be back in Tampa Bay and whether he would want to play for another team?

It’s been a tumultuous two seasons for the wideout, who had previously played for the Eagles and the Redskins, but signed a lucrative three-year free agent deal with the Bucs in March of 2017.

He is never really been on the same page with quarterback Jameis Winston, who Jackson has repeatedly hinted at and even outright complained wasn’t able to hit him consistently with long throws. Jackson did click initially last season, with veteran backup Ryan Fitzpatrick in the Bucs first two games catching long touchdown passes in both wins over the Saints and the Eagles to start the year.

However, Winston returned from NFL suspension to the lineup in Week 5 and the Bucs big plays to Jackson dwindled. He finished with just 41 catches for 774 yards and 4 TDs on the year.

We wrote at the end of the season in December that it appeared the Bucs had already or are ready now, to move on from Jackson. He is owed $10 million non-guaranteed in salary for the 2019 season.

While the easiest thing would be for the Bucs to simply release Jackson, they may be trying to hang on to him as an asset and see if they can trade him to another willing team.

Like the TMZ Paparazzi interviewer mentioned, the Steelers may be looking to add another wide receiver. But, then again, they already been dealing with an Antonio Brown’s off-the-field antics and may not welcome more headaches by bringing Jackson in.

While there’s no question that Jackson brings a speed element that helped open up Tampa Bay’s offense, which led the NFL with over 5,000 total yards this season, the Bucs have other talented receivers like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries.

And, perhaps Arians and new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich will take a look at the whole situation, the big picture for the future and decide it’s best to rid themselves of Jackson once and for all.

One way or another.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs repeated blunders lead to London defeat

Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Despite traveling over 4000 miles to London, it was a day to forget for the Bucs in their rematch with the Panthers on Sunday. Tampa Bay and QB Jameis Winston had enough misuses for a month of football, including 7 turnovers, as they dropped a 37 – 26 defeat at the hands of Carolina.

Winston was the biggest culprit, as he threw five interceptions (a career high) and also lost a number fumble in what was one of his worst performances of his five year career. And, even though his final stat line showed a 400 yards passing, Winston, with shaky from the very beginning. He threw an interception on the first play of the game to Panthers DB James Bradberry. This while trying to hit WR Mike Evans (catchless last week) over the middle.

Carolina only got a field goal though to make the game 3-0. And, after two Bucs punts on the next two possessions, Carolina marched 99 yards and ended up with in a short Christian Mccaffery one yard TD and a 10 – 0 lead.

One of the few breaks the Bucs got at Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium Sunday came when Carolina punt returner Ray Ray McCloud fumbled early in the second and Tampa Bay recovered. A short time later, Ronald Jones got the Buccaneers on the board with a five yard score to close the Carolina lead to 10-7.

Little did the Bucs, Winston and coach Bruce Arians know that it would be the closest they would get the rest of the day.

Later in the second, Winston had his arm hit by the Panthers Bruce Irvin and his pass was picked, again. And, it set up McCaffery’s second TD, a 25 yard catch and run to make it 17-7 Carolina in the half.

Then, after halftime,  the Bucs punted on their first possession and then, after a Panthers field goal made it 20-7, Winston once again threw a bad pass over the middle for his third interception of the game. This one to Pro Bowl LB Luke Kuechley, who ran it down to the Bucs 8 yard line. Next, WR Curtis Samuel scored on a handoff and at 27-7, the issue was basically decided.

Yes, the Bucs continued to scrap and Winston actually got them in the endzone  twice in the fourth quarter and finished with 400 yards passing, on the number. However, most of that was against softer coverage while Carolina led big in the second half.

Besides the five INTS, Winston also fumbled away another red zone scoring opportunity after he was hit and sacked. Then, a fourth quarter Bobo Wilson muffed punt led to Panthers field goal and the game back to an easy double digit lead. Again, -6 in the turnover margin was as horrific as it gets for Tampa Bay.

The Panthers are now rolling, including second year QB Kyle Allen getting his fourth straight win in relief of the injured Cam Newton. Plus, Carolina got their revenge from a loss a month ago in Charlotte by winning in their first ever trip to the U.K.

However, this day was more about a Bucs offense, and Winston specifically, that both looked so good in a 55-40 win two weeks ago in L.A. doing the exact opposite for most of this Sunday in a bad defeat.

Tampa Bay now stands 2-4 headed to their bye and knows that the turnovers must stop, or the year will get more sour and very quickly.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs in London leads our Sunday NFL primer

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For one of the rare times this season, all three state NFL teams are in action on Sunday early and one of them very early.

First stop, the Buccaneers rematch the Panthers. This time in London at the newly rebuilt Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Bucs come off of a tough loss 31-24 in New Orleans last week, but do have a win in week two at Carolina 20-14.

In that game, Tampa Bay’s defense took advantage of an injured quarterback Cam Newton and also stuffed running back Christian McCaffrey on their way to a division road win. Newton has been replaced the last three weeks by backup Kyle Allen and he has lead them to three consecutive victories, including road wins at Arizona and Houston.

Meanwhile, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (photo above) will try to ignite his connection with receiver Mike Evans, the Pro Bowler was held without a catch in last week’s loss at the Superdome.

Next up, the Jaguars will host those Saints at TIAA Bank Field. Jacksonville has performed well with rookie 6th round pick quarterback Gardner Minshew leading them That includes a week ago in Charlotte, as Minshew threw for two more touchdowns in a narrow 34-27 loss to the Panthers. Minshew is 2-2 in his starts.

Also, third year running back Leonard Fournette has rounded into form with back-to-back good games including over 100 yards and his first touchdown of the season in a loss to the Panthers.

The Saints come in with three consecutive victories under backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who riddled the Buccaneers for four touchdowns last week. The Saints top target is wide receiver Michael Thomas and it’s unknown, whether Jaguars football defensive back Jalen Ramsey will be healthy enough/active to cover him in this game.

Finally, in Miami it’s a pair of winless teams, as the 0-5 Redskins visit the 0-4 Dolphins. Washington fired their coach Jay Gruden earlier in the week and replaced him with veteran assistant and former Raiders head coach, Bill Callahan.

Meanwhile, first-year coach Brian Flores and the Fins come out of a bye week with a chance at extra preparation in looking for their first win of the season. Flores maintained this week that second-year quarterback Josh Rosen has the starting job, not just for now, but for the foreseeable future.

In their last game two weeks ago, Rosen led a touchdown drive that actually gave Miami their first and only leader of the season at 10-6 against the Chargers However, L.A outplayed them in the second half to keep Miami without a victory.

Both of these teams have looked poor through much of the first part of the year, but one of them will get to celebrate, at least in the short term, with a Sunday win.

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