The Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked off the 2017 Free agency period by signing WR DeSean jackson from the Washington Redskins. Jackson was signed to a 3 year 35 million dollar contract with 20 million guaranteed. This signing was applauded by most NFL analysts as the Bucs now have a big play maker WR opposite Mike Evans.
Jackson had his second best season last year catching 62 passes for 2 TD’s and averaged over 14 yards a catch. Now all Jameis Winston has to do is get Jackson the ball. Winston was a big advocate of getting Jackson to come to Tampa as Jackson never had serious discussions with any other club.
The Bucs also shored up the defensive line by signing DL Chris Baker \from the Redskins. Baker signed a 3 yr 15.75 million dollar contract.Baker will replace Akeem Spence who signed with the Detroit Lions. Baker will play mostly in passing situations in this Bucs defense.
The Bucs also re-signed a couple of their own free agents. RB Jacquizz Rodgers and S Chris Conte. I really liked the play of Rodgers last season when the Bucs running backs were decimated by injuries. Then throughout the Doug Martin injuries and suspension, Rodgers stepped up and averaged over 4 yards a carry. I felt that Rodgers was the one free agent the Bucs had to re-sign from their own roster and Jason Licht clinched the deal. The Bucs get Rodgers for 2 years and 3.3 million dollars.
I did’nt know if the play of Conte last season would warrant a contract extension. Conte was just so-so but did play better as the season went along Conte will be a key contributor on special teams and part time DB. Comte signs for 2 years and 5 million dollars.
The Bucs then signed Safety J.J. Wilcox from the Dallas Cowboys, Wilcox signs for 2 years. In 4 years with the Cowboys, Wilcox started 38 games and has 5 career interceptions.
So in the span of 5 days the Bucs get that big play maker WR to play opposite Mike Evans. They add depth on The DL in Chris Baker, solidified the RB position with the re-signing of Jacquizz Rodgers. I believe that the signing of J.J. Wilcox will be an improvement in the defensive backfield. Wilcox is good against the run and the pass and has a reputation as a hard hitter. Every team needs that hard hitting safety to make those opposing Wide receivers think twice about coming acrosss the middle.
The Bucs have greatly improved their team and the pundits are taking note. NFL.com has the Bucs at no. 10 in the post free agency period. The culture is definitely changing in Tampa and I can hardly wait to see how this team comes together in 2017.