Jackson is joining Tampa Bay on a three-year, $35 million contract that includes $20 million guaranteed, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Jackson's speed and elusiveness make him an ideal complement to the hulking Mike Evans in a young and talented Buccaneers offense. After bouncing back to (barely) produce his fifth career 1,000-yard campaign in his third and final season in Washington, the 30-year-old Jackson made out quite well in negotiations for an aging wideout with durability concerns. He'll be the unquestioned No. 2 target in a Tampa Bay offense that previously lacked complementary weapons behind Evans. Jameis Winston has the arm strength to find Jackson deep down the field, but Evans presumably will continue to hog the QB's attention near the end zone.
Jackson intends to sign with Tampa Bay, barring any last-minute breakdowns in negotiations, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Jackson had been considering as many as three other teams according to reports, but he'll land in an offense led by Jameis Winston, giving the young quarterback another option to stretch the field. The 30-year-old had his third 1,000-yard season in four years for Washington in 2016, so he should have plenty left in the tank to be a difference-maker. Also helping Jackson's case is the fact he'll be lining up across from the 2016's fourth-leading receiver in Mike Evans (1,321), who should draw most of the attention from opposing secondaries.
The Bucs are expected to be Jackson's most aggressive suitor in free agency, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. Although the list of potentially interested teams also includes the Eagles, Patriots and Cowboys, Laine reports that Tampa Bay remains Jackson's likeliest landing spot once free agency officially kicks off at 4pm Eastern on Thursday. The Bucs boast the most cap space -- approximately $66 million -- of the interested teams, and the Patriots, the next closest with $62 million available, are unlikely to venture outside of their general philosophy of pursuing more moderately-priced free agents. The Eagles could be somewhat of a wild card given that they're the team that brought Jackson into the league in 2008, but aren't believed to have the ability to offer him what he's likely expecting in annual salary. Despite being flush with cap space, the Bucs would still have to weigh any potential Jackson signing against the need to eventually extend No. 1 receiver Mike Evans, who will enter the fourth season of his five-year rookie contract in 2017. Ultimately, they appear to have the money to make it work, which would provide them with one of the more potentially explosive size/speed combinations at the receiver position in the NFL.
Jackson wants to re-sign with the Redskins, but also admitted that he'll take the best offer he receives as a free agent this offseason, ESPN's John Keim reports. Jackson is coming off his second 1,000-yard season since arriving in Washington in 2014, which figures to make him a hot commodity on the free agent market this offseason. Despite his stated desire to remain with the Redskins, Jackson is expected to have attractive offers elsewhere, which should complicate his decision-making process. Not only that, but Washington is also tasked with fellow wideout Pierre Garcon and quarterback Kirk Cousins being free agents, making their cap situation less flexible than some of Jackson's potential suitors. As a result, the 30-year-old's future employer is far from certain, which leaves his 2017 fantasy outlook in need of valuable context before it can be shaped.
Jackson (jaw) caught just two of five targets for 34 yards in Sunday's 19-10 loss to the Giants. Jackson left last week's game against Chicago with a jaw injury, but was able to suit up Sunday, although he failed to make any big plays. He had been producing at high level recently, with 100 yards receiving in four of his previous five games. Washington missed the postseason in Sunday's loss, but Jackson finished with 1,005 receiving yards to record the fifth 1,000-yard campaign of his career.
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