Hard To Part Ways With VJax

December 10th, 2014
Bucs WR Vincent Jackson showed Sunday why the Bucs need to keep him, despite his bloated salary.

Bucs WR Vincent Jackson showed Sunday why the Bucs need to keep him, despite his bloated salary.

It’s no secret Vincent Jackson is no longer the stud receiver he once was. Shoot, he’s not even the best receiver on his own team.

Rookie Mike Evans is the future. And while V-Jax (“V-Drops”) is inconsistent and not nearly worth the near-$10 million-a-year he is being paid, it might just be penny-wise and pound-foolish to let him walk in the offseason.

Consider this little nugget from Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com concerning the beating quarterback Josh McCown absorbed at Detroit Sunday:

He completed 20 of 39 passes for 250 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also lost a fumbled snap, but center Evan Dietrich-Smith took the blame for that. McCown had enjoyed good chemistry with rookie receiver Mike Evans this season. But Evans caught only four passes Sunday.

That’s because Detroit was throwing more coverage at Evans and less at Vincent Jackson. That allowed Jackson to turn in his best game of the season, with 10 catches for 159 yards.

Halfway through the season, despite his big plays, Evans had often enjoyed single-coverage by corners, which is one reason he was piling up yards and touchdowns. Teams were more scared of VJax. Only when it became perfectly obvious it was Evans who was the go-to guy for the Bucs did someone (Detroit) do something about it, and look what happens. VJax has his best game of the season.

Not a coincidence.

So while VJax may be overpaid, his worth to the Bucs, and to Evans, is clear.

One of Joe’s steadfast NFL rules is the telling adjustment of a rookie in his second year. Other teams’ coaches get paid, too. And trust Joe when he types that every team on the Bucs schedule for next season will reserve a good chuck of the next six months devising ways to stop Evans.

By getting rid of Jackson, that will make Evans’ adjustment all that much harder. With VJax on the other side of the field, it at least keeps teams honest in their coverage.

Yes, VJax may be overpaid. Yes, he is still a valuable asset to the Bucs and the passing game. This is one where the Bucs are going to have to bite the financial bullet and keep VJax for 2015.

37 Responses to “Hard To Part Ways With VJax”

  1. Patrick in VA Says:

    I’d love to see them restructure his deal and let him wrap up his career as an appropriately paid #2 WR for the Bucs. Show him respect but make the number appropriate for his role and stretch it out for 3-4 more years

  2. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I agree.

  3. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Actually, some credit should go to the qb and coaches for recognizing and capitalizing on Detroit’s coverage changes. I know it’s their job, but that does not mean praise is not warranged.

  4. meh Says:

    This shouldn’t even be up for discussion. It would be insane to get rid of VJax.

  5. Espo Says:

    Yes Jack they did an excellent job exploiting Detroit’s defense.

  6. Phil Says:

    Are we going to get rid of VJ because we have way too many good players on our team? I don’t think so. We have plenty of cap room so why not keep him? If they want to get rid of some overpriced veterans they should start with the ones Lovie brought in last year. At least VJ can play. The guys Lovie brought in don’t even belong in the league.

  7. Sick of this $hit Says:

    If we are stuck with McCown next year as well then we would be better off keeping Jackson. This is a very one dimensional offense. With no running game and the oline problems, how can you consider letting one of the only two weapons that your QB knows how to use, walk away?

  8. bucrightoff Says:

    Perhaps is Lovie and Licht didn’t make a bunch of disasterous free agent signings this wouldn’t even be an issue. But they did and those guys have serious dead cap money whereas VJax does not, making him easier to cut. But at least one of Lovie’s major flaws is his love of vets so that probably keeps VJax around. But I wouldn’t take a pay cut if I were him, he can take a pay cut and go play for Philly or New England. Who wouldn’t do that?

  9. MTM Says:

    It would be idiotic to get rid of V-Jax when the only positive on offense is the receivers. But then again the O-LINE was dismantled.

  10. LutzBuczFan Says:

    The purge should start with players who stink, not VJax. EDS maybe? I’ve never seen so many mistakes by a center.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Restructure Vjax……perhaps 2 years @ !6 mil…..or 3 at 21…..but definately keep him….I actually think he’d like to stay in Tampa with MacDill etc. I realize he’d love a shot at a championship…but who knows?

  12. The Buc Realist Says:

    If the bucs could get a 3rd rounder for VJ, Licht will pull the trigger in a hear beat. VJ will be 32/33 years old for the 2015 season, and its not like they have been winning with him!

  13. meh Says:

    Lutz, you must have missed the Gilkey at center game? EDS is just terrible yet somehow Gilkey is 100x worse.

  14. Jon Says:

    Silly to part ways with him. He’s been and is a #1 WR, let’s be like Atlanta and have two studs. Simple as that, plus it’s one less area L&L can mess up next offseason

  15. Name Required Says:

    If the Bucs are picking a QB at number one, they need to keep as many veteran receivers as they can. Even if he’s overpaid a bit, it’s bone of my concern. Surround Mariota with the best receivers possible.

  16. NewTampaChris Says:

    If the Bucs try to restructure and VJax says no, then you have an interesting game of chicken. No one else will pay him $9m but is he willing to take his chances on the open market? If so, it only takes one team willing to pay him more than the Bucs offer, and then that will be that.

    The Bucs are so thin at WR after the Big Two that I think they’ll have to eat that salary and keep him. That’s the price of bad drafting at the position.

  17. BucsQcCity Says:

    Gilkey, EDS, Omameh, Cousins and there leader warhop. Just cutting all of them improves the team.

    If we let VJ go, keep Warhop and don’t draft a 1st rnd QB then I give up.

  18. RCH Says:

    You guys thinking Jackson is going to restructure his contract just stop it I got news for you he won’t. He held out seven games in San Diego over a contact dispute so I don’t expect him to take a pay cut now. Under this scenerio just pay the man even though its more than he’s worth because our new potentially rookie QB needs weapons to throw to. Its not like its our money its the Glazer’s money.

  19. LutzBuczFan Says:

    @meh, you called it. I seem to miss one game every year. This year it was the Gilkey game. A friend came in from out of town and we went to check out the Picasso-Dali exhibit.

  20. ddneast Says:

    MTM, you are another one of the morons who post out here with short term memory problems. Last year’s O line was dismantled because it was almost as bad as this year’s version. You clowns who lament the fact that players who were let go from last years O line were playing poorly.
    You probably also belong to the group that has been whining for years that the Bucs didn’t sign any FA’s because they were cheap. Now that they did, you complain about them.
    That sir, makes you a chronic.
    The fact of the matter is that the only FA the Bucs ever signed who ever performed up to his expectations was Vjax.
    I have said this since game four, all this team needs to be a .500 team or better is an experienced OC and a B QB.
    Who knows, with an experienced OC, McCown might even had been a B QB. As it is, everything looks worse with an out if his league Arroyo at the controls of the offense.

  21. Walter White Says:

    It sure makes a helluva lot more sense to overpay a veteran VJax to be a good guy and, despite some drops, TRY to play hard and definitely help Evans than to overpay Second Cousin to Harvey the Rabbit, Randall Stevens, non-existent, non-factor, absentee balloting, Karl “the Mail it in Man” Malone, Robin Hood “Prince of THIEVES” MICHAEL JOHNSON.

  22. Matt B Says:

    I agree with Joe and everyone else. Next year’s rookie QB needs as many weaons as possible and the last thing this team needs is another hole to fill. What if we got rid of Vincent and Evans got hurt. Who’s going to be your #1 receiver then – Murphy?

  23. OB Says:

    Last time I looked the idea was to win games, not which individual was doing better. As many have said, without VJax, ME13 would not even be mentioned as a receiver.

    Besides being a receiver, 159 yards with a QB who has difficulty throwing anywhere near his target, is not a number 2 receiver, it is one of a tandem who cause problems to every defense in the NFL or any other league. VJax is a coach and leader to all the receivers and this is not measurable by stats. Oh, did I mention that he is a shining example to not only the young players on the team, but all the youth in the community, plus what he does for veterans and active duty military and their families is priceless.

    We need to insure he stays here for the duration of his career.

  24. ander Says:

    Getting rid of vj is extremel . Stupid. Lovie got rid of revis for eds sorry ass Michael johnson Anthony Collins and josh mccown. This year has me so fed up just pick jameis Winston and get a great slot receiver along with some guys that could actually block in the o line and turn This ship around this losing is gotta stop

  25. billy buckaroo Says:

    Very hard to judge VJAX year this year because of the poor play of the line and no running game. I would like to see one more year at least of him playing where the defense had to respect the run at least slightly. He might really have a terrific year with Evans on the other side and a run game with some threat, regardless of the QB

  26. Celly Says:

    The Buc Realist Says:
    December 10th, 2014 at 8:23 am

    If the bucs could get a 3rd rounder for VJ, Licht will pull the trigger in a hear beat. VJ will be 32/33 years old for the 2015 season, and its not like they have been winning with him!

    What’s funny is that if they did that and Evans couldn’t beat ALL the double teams he’d be facing each and every game (cause who else are they going to cover), you’d be on here talking about how Evans is a bust and that it was stupid to get rid of VJ and didn’t replace him properly…etc, etc.

  27. Another J Says:

    Joe, Stop bashing V-Jax,
    The dude has put up damn near 1,000 yards with a broken wrist!
    So what if he drops and occasional pass, Most dudes wouldn’t even play with an injury like that!

  28. Zam Says:

    agreed… it’s not like that money would be well spent elsewhere, given Lovie/Licht’s track record now.

  29. MTM Says:

    @ ddneast
    If you going to try and make a point use some logic. The O-Line was bad last year, players were let go or traded and are now outperforming our current line up. Our new dysfunctional O-line is worse. If you blow up the O-line its in an effort to improve not regress. What does that have to do with keeping V-Jax?
    Go back to your grandmothers basement and finish your World of Warcraft blog!

  30. C. Alaka Says:

    So my understanding Joe is that a WR should catch EVERY ball throw his way! S**t if we get rid of V-Jax then I’m 100% off the Bucs! The only reason V-Jax hasn’t balled more this yr is b/c he’s been getting the double coverage. Evans gets singled by the #2 CBs & V-Jax gets doubled while playing against the #1 CBs. J-Vax isn’t going anywhere, showing up wk after wk w/ a messed up wrist.

  31. Hawk Says:

    The Buc Realist Said:

    “If the bucs could get a 3rd rounder for VJ, Licht will pull the trigger in a hear beat. VJ will be 32/33 years old for the 2015 season, and its not like they have been winning with him!”

    First of all, who would give a third round pick for an ‘old’, over-paid, WR whose year-by-year stats says his abilities are declining? The Bucs MIGHT get a sixth. The team NEEDS VJ. More importantly, the young Evans needs VJ.
    The best scenario would be if VJ would agree to a re-structured contract. But if that fails, bite the bullet and pay him for another year. I have been critical of VJ this year, and will not back down from that criticism (too many drops for the salary), but he is till a player who has to be accounted for. And as long as he can still ‘burn’ DCs who under-estimate his abilities…

    For all of those, out there (including Joe), that lament the ‘loss’ of last year’s O-line, stop it. The cold hard truth is that they didn’t play well TOGETHER. Yes, it could be that Lovie went overboard with getting rid of almost the entire line, and it is a fact that he lost that gamble in his choices of the ‘talent’ with which he replaced them. None the less, those ‘lost’ guys are playing with different/better players and one weak link can be hidden. Unfortunately, the Bucs no longer have ONE weak link.

  32. Buccfan37 Says:

    The fans have overwhelmingly spoken, keep Vincent Jackson.

  33. Pickgrin Says:

    I wouldn’t even approach V Jackson about re-structuring. Not this year – maybe next coming into the last year of his deal. Jackson has been nothing but professional and his productivity and team leadership has earned him the right to be “overpayed” for at least 1 year.

  34. THETRUTH Says:



  35. Hawk Says:

    VJ has already been ‘over-payed’. In case you missed the post, I’ll repeat it.

    12-2-14 (A Plea to keep Vincent Jackson)
    IMO, one of the best ‘measures’ of a receiver is target/catch. ALL receivers are measured by the same stick. If it hits their hands, it’s catch-able. The quality of the QB is irrelevant since the receiver isn’t penalized for bad throws.
    With that in mind, Jackson hit his peak in ’09 (63.6% catch-rate) and has dropped EVERY year since (46.7% 2014)(per Sporting Charts). Of the receivers who have caught a minimum of 50 passes (75), he is 73rd. If you add all receivers who have caught, at least, seven passes (another 79 receivers), he ranks 135 out of 154 (per Football Outsiders).

    With the new ‘hands-off’ rules, receivers don’t need to be as good as in the ‘old days’, but they still have to CATCH the ball.
    As I said previously, I’d like to keep Jackson, but not under the same contract.
    I have revised my position by saying that if Jackson is unwilling to re-structure, I wouldn’t be upset to ‘over-pay’ him for another year. Without a threat across from Evans, his growth/productivity with be a problem. The Bucs are NOT in a position to waste a draft pick on a ‘Day One’ receiver, and I doubt that another ‘Vincent Jackson’ will be available in free agency. I am leery of the evaluation process that is currently being used.

  36. Patrick Says:

    Here’s a way we can clear some cap room. Get rid of trash McCown, our trash punter and trash Michael Johnson.

  37. Hawk Says:

    Patrick Said:

    “Here’s a way we can clear some cap room. Get rid of trash McCown, our trash punter and trash Michael Johnson.”

    Are you sure you want to stir up all the “trash McCown”, “trash punter”, and “trash Michael Johnson” fans? LOL
    BTW, adding “trash” is just being redundant. So many on this team could wear that moniker.