Jackson still a good teammate despite request
DeSean Jackson wasn’t giving up any trade secrets.
Speaking to the media Wednesday for the first time since a report two weeks ago that he requested the Bucs deal him to another team, the 31-yearold receiver wouldn’t deny it happened.
“Whatever them conversations were, they were between us,” Jackson said when asked if he spoke to general manager Jason Licht to request a trade. “It’s over and done with now, and I’m looking forward. We’ve got eight games left to continue to try our best to get in the playoffs and win here.”
At 3-5 and having lost four of their past five games, the Bucs on Sunday host Jackson’s former Washington team, which is 5-3 and leading the NFC East.
This has to be particularly galling for Jackson, who has watched the Bucs go 8-16 since joining them as a free agent before last season.
On the field, Jackson’s decline has mirrored that of his team’s. The Bucs opened this season with consecutive wins at New Orleans and against the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles. Jackson had more than 100 yards receiving in three of their first four games with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback.
But since then, Jackson has averaged 50 receiving yards over the past four games.
“He’s averaging 22point-something (yards) per catch (22.4),” coach Dirk Koetter said. “Again, guys, the object of the game is to get one more point than the other team, however you get there. The object of the game isn’t to get DeSean more catches.”
Koetter is right. The object of the game is to win, and that is precisely why the Bucs did not want to suffer a trade deficit.
Jackson is one of the top playmakers on an offense that has ranked No. 1 in the NFL for most of the season.
When the Oct. 30 trade deadline approached, the Bucs were focused on getting a win over Carolina to get back to .500 and one game out of a possible wild-card spot. Licht didn’t see the logic in losing the most explosive players on offense for a mid-round draft pick.
What Jackson says he’s frustrated about is that the Bucs look like they’re headed for another losing season.
“It’s just knowing what’s in this locker room, knowing the players we have all across the board, and knowing how talented it can be. It did show early on. That’s the frustration,” he said.
Receiver DeSean Jackson (11) doesn’t deny the report that he requested the Bucs deal him to another team.