Jackson (knee) does not plan on retiring, ESPN's Adam Caplan reports.
Jackson is slated to hit free agency after ending both of the last two seasons on injured reserve due to knee issues. Despite being 34 years old, Jackson still feels there's room left in the tank to continue his career. Just how much interest he receives on the open market remains to be seen, leaving his diminished fantasy stock in limbo, but the veteran isn't calling it quits yet.
Jackson, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent, and the Bucs have met this offseason but his future with the team remains uncertain, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. "We did have conversations with Vincent," GM Jason Licht told reporters at the NFL combine Wednesday. "I have the utmost respect for him. Everybody in the organization does. In my mind, in head coach Dirk [Koetter's] mind, in the owners' minds, he'll be a Buc for life. So whatever happens happens, but we'll always want Vincent to be around the organization."
The 34-year-old has finished his last two seasons on injured reserve as a result of knee injuries and found it hard to gain separation when he was on the field in 2016, finishing with just 15 receptions (31 targets) for 173 yards and no touchdowns through five games. The team holds Jackson in highest regard with respect to his work ethic, locker room presence, NFL resume, and off-field charitable endeavors, but want to get younger and faster at receiver opposite Mike Evans in 2017. To that end, the Bucs locked down the mercurial but talented Josh Huff to a multi-year contract after bringing him aboard following his Eagles release last season and also inked Derel Walker, one of the CFL's most explosive wideouts, earlier this offseason. They also could well be aggressive at the position in free agency, given that they have approximately $68 million in cap room as per recent reports. "There's a lot of players that we like at that position that are free agents and the draft - that's the process that we're going through right now," Licht said. "You can't always get what you want. We're going to do the best that we can to add depth and add playmakers."
Jackson (knee) finished the 2016 season with 15 receptions (31 targets) for 173 yards and no scores.
The 33-year-old's season was cut short in mid-October with a knee injury originally feared to be a torn ACL. While that worst-case scenario was later confirmed to be unfounded, Jackson was ruled out for the season in mid-November, potentially the final transaction involving the Bucs and the veteran receiver. Jackson is now an unrestricted free agent, and after topping out at four receptions and 44 yards in any the five games he was active for during the 2016 campaign, he appears to be a long shot to return. Jackson remains in superb physical condition, but didn't seem capable of getting downfield with the same level of success as in years past, with an 18-yard reception in Week 4 representing his longest of the season. If 2016 was indeed Jackson's swang song in Tampa, he wraps up his five-season Bucs career with 268 receptions for 4,326 yards and 20 touchdowns. His tenure included three 1,000-yard seasons, but his yardage totals did drop in each campaign. However, presuming his knee is back at full strength heading into the summer, Jackson could well latch on with a team looking for veteran receiver help.
Jackson's ailment was first termed an ACL tear by Adam Caplan of ESPN, and Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times was able to whittle it down to the wideout's left knee. If the injury is in fact to Jackson's MCL (as Werder discovered) or a lesser ACL issue, he may be able to return at some point. The Buccaneers would then have a quandary on their hands with regard to which player between Jackson and Charles Sims (knee) to activate from IR later this season, as each team can bring back just one such player to the 53-man roster. On the other hand, confirmation of a severe ACL diagnosis would result in back-to-back abbreviated campaigns for Jackson.
Jackson apparently played through a knee injury during the
|P1||8/11/17||@ CIN||7:30 pm|
|P2||8/17/17||@ JAC||8:00 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|6||10/15/17||@ ARI||4:05 pm|
|7||10/22/17||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
|9||11/5/17||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/26/17||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|16||12/24/17||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||16||72||1384||19.2||95||8||24||6||61|
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||16||78||1224||15.7||60||7||19||5||60|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||16||70||1002||14.3||50||2||12||3||50|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||9||33||543||16.5||36||3||13||0||28|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||5||15||173||11.5||18||0||0||0||8|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||16||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||16||1||0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||16||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||9||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||5||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||1||2||2.0||2||0||0|
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||3||3.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||5||5.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||4||4.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|