It Helps To Watch Games

January 27th, 2016
Bucs WR Vincent Jackson likely done for season.

Bucs WR Vincent Jackson is still valuable.

Joe has no clue where this anti-Vincent Jackson narrative began. Why do some people persist in the nonsense that the Bucs need to cut ties with Jackson?

Crazy talk!

Jeff Smith of FOX Sports apparently doesn’t watch many Bucs games. Not surprising the way national media types (in particular those based in Connecticut) were bruised by news of Lovie Smith getting fired.

The way Jeff Smith thinks, Jackson is an albatross around the neck of the Bucs and needs to be cut sooner than later, along with four other teammates.

1. Vincent Jackson

Say hello to the definition of an unfortunate cap casualty. While Jackson showed at times in 2015 that he can still play at a high level, it just wasn’t enough to justify his contract. Not only did he deal with injuries, resulting in him missing six games, but he caught just 33 balls for 543 yards and three touchdowns. This means that over the past two years he’s had five total touchdowns, which is obviously below expectation.

The real issue? Jackson being cut this offseason results in the freeing up $9,777,778 in cap space, while getting hit with $2,432,000 in dead money. It’s just too much cap space to free up to justify keeping Jackson at this price. While Kenny Bell from Nebraska missed his rookie season, he has tremendous upside and could be a much cheaper option offensively. Even if the Buccaneers choose not to go that route, there are plenty of options in the draft and free agency.

Smith’s argument may make sense but for the slighly overlooked fact the Bucs are not in any way close to being in cap hell. Let’s get our heads out of a spreadsheet, shall we? Anyone who casually watched the Bucs noticed how the offense spun its wheels when Jackson was hurt.

This was not a coincidence. Even new coach Dirk Koetter, then the Bucs’ offensive coordinator, all but said in December that Jackson was likely the MVP of the offense. Koetter openly wished he would return.

Guess who the head coach is now?

Yes, Jackson’s salary is steep. It was last year, too. A trusted Bucs source told Joe last year the team had zero intentions of trading Jackson, despite fielding phone calls from interested parties.

Joe also heard Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian say teams don’t mind paying for production. Though not discussing Jackson, this notion was seconded to Joe in recent weeks by a current NFL general manager.

So Jackson will be cut loose to make room for Kenny Bell? Stop! Joe likes Bell a great deal, but after the second week of training camp, please inform Joe what Bell actually did. A main reason he was placed on injured reserve (yes, he was injured) was the hope that a full year with the team would bolster his ability to make the final-53 this fall. Bell, as a rookie, was very much on the edge of the bubble.

Joe has heard absolutely nothing about the Bucs cutting ties with Jackson. Given how the offense hummed with him, and how close he is to Jameis, and how Koetter wants him back, Joe would be shocked if Jackson is waved goodbye.

Joe also lives in the world of reality. The 2016 season very well could be Jackson’s last.

35 Responses to “It Helps To Watch Games”

  1. Bucco brice Says:

    Totally crazy!!!!!!!

  2. Bucnut2 Says:

    Agree with everything you said joe. None the less he is overpaid. I want him back and hope the bucs can negotiate a lower salary. Problem for us is the free agent receiver talent pool is very shallow. I say bring him back but negotiate hard for a pay cut.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    The Bucs showed in 2015 that they’re a much better team with VJax in the lineup. His demonstrated leadership capabilities alone are worth the $10 mil his contract calls for. We’ve still got a young team and leaders like VJax are priceless. Folks need to stop this nonsense talking about renegotiating his contract and pay the man. Same thing with Logan Mankins by the way IF he decides to sign on for another year.

  4. BucsBlud Says:

    I would love to have Jackson back. Yes, he is expensive, and we could save a lot of money cutting him. However, we have plenty of Cap room, and should take advantage of having a cheap QB over the next 3 years.
    See if he’ll take a pay cut, but by all means, bring him back.

  5. tdtb2015 Says:

    With Evans behavior and dropping 1/2 the passes thrown at him keeping VJack is a smart move.

    I would like to see another draft at WR though.

  6. Luther Says:

    Simple, you cut Jackson and you cut the growth and development of Jameis.

  7. Bucco brice Says:

    With the thin roster and tons of cap money….nobody should be released…ADD talent, no deleting…

  8. finishers Says:

    keep V-JAX! he’s a true leader.

  9. NewDayInTampa Says:

    Which team is the greatest Super Bowl Champion of all-time?
    10. 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    What wins championships, offense or defense? In Super Bowl XXXVII the answer was definitive. A Raiders team that had averaged 279.7 passing yards and 28.1 points per game was shut down by a stifling Buccaneers defense. Tampa Bay set Super Bowl records by picking off league MVP Rich Gannon five times and scoring three defensive touchdowns

  10. NewDayInTampa Says:

    11 Assistant Coaches Whose Names You Should Know.
    Some are more recognizable than others, but each played a vital role for his team in 2015.
    Mike Bajakian — Buccaneers quarterbacks coach
    Dirk Koetter has gotten almost all of the credit for Jameis Winston’s rookie success, and understandably so. Koetter was outstanding with his week-to-week game plans and play calls, featuring a smashmouth rushing attack and a vertical passing assault—old-school approaches that fit Winston perfectly. But Koetter, now the Bucs’ head coach, will tell you that much of his quarterback’s prosperity should be attributed to his position coach, Mike Bajakian.

    Head coaches often trumpet their little-known assistants, and sometimes the praise can be the hollow workings of politics. Not here. Winston, who can be a bit methodical in his footwork and delivery, showed sounder mechanics as the season progressed. And the turnover problems that everyone feared his propensity for throwing into tight coverage would bring? Didn’t happen. In Weeks 5-14 Winston had just four interceptions

  11. FortMyersDave Says:

    Jeff Smith obviously has an agenda; find out which team he jocks for and you’ll find out where he wants V-Jack to go? right now the offense has a solid nucleus, do not ***it up Mr Licht! Your job is to help Mike Smith get components to shore up Lovie’s sad excuse of a D…..

  12. Tnew Says:

    Based on our cap situation, there is no reason to cut him. Would you like him for 3-4 mil, sure but it’s not my money and it’s only one more season. If the glazers are willing keep him on the books on the books

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We should absolutely keep Vjax….as far as a salary cut….I don’t think he takes one without something in return……negotiate a 2 year 12 mil guaranteed contract. He still has two years in the tank….and is a great leader.
    We’ve got the money.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I also think Koetter knows that of Vjax was healthy the last 4 games he would not be HC today…..we can add Kwon to Vjax…..cost us at least 2 games….would have saved Lovie.

  15. Dreambig Says:

    Bell replace VJax? Wow! What a reach! We all like Bell for some reason but if memory serves, he was targeted multiple time with 0 catches last preseason. Joe your dead on with this one, IR saved the unpleasant task of cutting the cool guy who said the right things, was Jameis’s room mate and had cool hair but was struggling to distinguish himself. But hey let’s go with Jeff Smith and start him over a top tier proven WR. Hope Bell pans out but let’s not pretend he is not a long shot.

  16. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    Keep V-Jax. We’re paying him more for being a leader than we are for on-field production.

  17. Wombat Says:

    I love VJ, but his value is less than what we are paying him. Sorry, unless he restructures, he should be gone. If he plays for 6m, keep him…. He only caught 53% of the balls thrown his way last year. Take the money you save from him and pay #22

  18. buc4life1979 Says:

    How is Jackson being overpaid when the majority of his salary gets spent right there in the Tampa area? From the local charities he gives to, to all the work he does with military families, Jackson’s salary is well deserved, and should be looked at as money well spent, Period.

  19. BUC55 Says:

    VJAX appears to have gas left in the tank for another year….. if he can stay healthy.
    I would keep him and his 10 million salary for another year UNLESS a better value is obtainable. Alshon Jefferie? According to Spotrac, Vjax will be the 9th highest paid wide receiver in the nfl in 2016. There are only 13 receivers that make at least 10 million per. Everyone on that list is a production animal except Vjax and Mike Wallace. Point being that 10 mil per should get you a world class wide receiver with minimum top 10-15 production. As much as I like Vjax (talent and intangibles) if a younger, faster, more athletic player is gettable for that money, I say go for it. With or without VJax, the Bucs need to upgrade the position. Best scenario – renegotiate a lower salary AND add significant talent through free agency AND the draft.

  20. Skull-N-Sword Says:

    An experienced free agent WR signing is a must. Mike Evans when not throwing tantrums gets the drops. Could be a suspension liability as well.

    V-Jax is worn but worth the money for productivity and leadership. Hopefully, he’s willing to restructure his contract to help the team. V-Jax has been nothing but an absolute professional, great community guy, and staunch supporter of our men and women in uniform. He’s a gold card carrying member in the Classiest Buccaneer Club.

  21. bculaw Says:


    You make a good point, and I agree completely. You only get rid of Jackson if: 1) you can’t afford him; or 2) you’ve replaced him with more production. The first reason doesn’t apply here. The Bucs have a huge amount of cap space already. Yes, they could create more by cutting VJax, but WHO ARE YOU GOING TO PAY!!! As to the second reason, you don’t replace VJax with an untested, unproductive rookie. I’d love for Bell to grow into a force on offense worthy of TAKING VJax’s job, but you don’t give it to him essentially sight unseen. The same can be said for the other rookie receiving options we put on the field this year. None warrant any treatment as of yet other than depth. BUT, if you can bring in a playmaker that is capable of staying on the field and providing more production, then you might consider cutting ties. Even then, I’d try to convince him to stay at a reduced rate. Remember, the Bucs arguably need to replace L. Murphy, too, given his questionable status following ACL surgery. A this point, I’m not sure anyone on the current roster is worthy of his spot on a permanent basis.

  22. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Vincent jackson is a consummate professional whose experience is valued by the team and coaches.a 16.5 completion average is consistant with some of the top receivers in the league.and eventhough Evans broke 1000 yards again,he is far from a finished product,route running and adjustment to deep passes need improvement.Evans and Jameis need to spend the off season
    improving the accuracy and timing of those deep sideline routes.Until that is accomplished I see a big need for VJax.

  23. Architek Says:

    This is why listening or reading national journalist write-ups about things outside the market is just absurd.

    If it’s not Ian Rapp or Schefter or Glazer I don’t trust the story.

  24. Capt. Tim Says:

    Glad to see the majority of Buc fans here are pro Jackson.
    Because, Uf you watched last season, and still think we should part ways with Jaclson- you have to be one of the stupidest SOBs to walk the planet.
    Unfortunatly- many such postsrs do gather here.

    Jackson is the only WR we currently have.
    Rvans has gone from a hard working kid from Texas,
    To a guy more interested in his “Gangsta” image, than becoming a good WR.
    Tall Wrs have more drops. Thats the nature of human physics. Big guys have a harder time shooting Free throws.
    Its all about hand surface.
    I can understand the drops. Its the non chalant attitude, and playing around in the side- while the team is getting slaughtered- that shows where his head is at

    V-Jackson is the consummate proffesional. Hopefully- it will rub off on Evans, who I still believe to be a talented and good kid

    Loose Jackson? You will loose Evans too

  25. matt Says:

    Cause people are stupid! VJack is definitely still worth keeping around. I agree we need another top flight wr but I don’t want us to let him go.

  26. Pick6 Says:

    yep, if we are ever dying to have $70 million in cap room and want to risk our offense looking like it did the last 6 weeks of the season, we know who to cut. I’m sure the coaches feel completely ready to make Mike Evans the longest-tenured buc in the WR room

  27. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I really like TBBF’s strategy. Renogiate a fair deal with VJAX that offers him a decent return and saves us money and locks him up for two more.

    This team has Michael Evans and ASJ…two young talents that need some help when it comes to realizing they are not the straw that stirs the drink. They need to learn how to be teammates…not hot dogs…ASJ is the worst!!! Poses like Captain Morgan plays like Tinkerbell.

    #3 will certainly bring a culture change but he’s a busy dude!!! He can use some help! VJAX is just the perfect guy for this. And VJAX realized from day one that this is #3’s team and he not only didn’t have a problem with it..he was incredibly supportive of #3 from training camp on.

    Locker room chemistry is critical on every team. VJAX is a HUGE part of our good chemistry.

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    VJax has a “down” year due to injuries and suddenly he’s paid too much?!
    First of all, he’s worth every penny of that contract (it ain’t your money anyway!). Second, how’d all that freeing up of cap space work out for us over the last two years?!

  29. Buccaneers Says:

    Luckily we have the money to spend to keep Jackson. Otherwise it would be sticky. The only move that makes sense to cut Jackson is if they bring in Jeffery. I’m pretty sure the next best option at WR is Kearse and he’s not on Jackson’s level.

    Defienty not on board with replacing Jackson with Bell or a rookie. There are just no good options to replace Jackson IMO. Again, the key factor is the amount of cap space the team has. You can’t take weapons away from Jamies if your trying to win.

  30. Buccaneers Says:

    And there’s no doubt. 10mil is an overspend for Jackson whose production is declining. But see that money as partially being invested into our franchise QB and its money well spent.

  31. godzilla13 Says:

    Just a question. Does anyone think any other team would pay Vincent Jackson $10,000,000 a year at his age and with the numbers he produced last year? I would rather take that money and put it towards the DE two Safeties and CB we need in FA, not to mention Doug Martin’s and other unsigned Buccaneer players contracts. Or better yet, by drafting a WR and releasing Jackson use that 10M to go after TE Dwayne Allen (26) Colts. He has been Andrew Lucks “go to” receiver of the past couple of years and I read the Colts are not going to re-sign him. I am not sold on ASJ and Winston needs a big man target. Draft WR Josh Doctson TCU (6-3 195) in the second round. He has great hands and is a play maker. Vincent who?

  32. Wesley Says:

    He can still be great, some people have a VERY short memory. Reduce his salary to 7 million and be done with it. He wouldn’t get more anywhere else anyway, plus he wants to be here.

  33. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    The Bucs are going to have something like 50 mil this year, right?

    And that’s with his numbers being paid. Keep him. He’s too important as a leader right now. But also…sign more WRs through free agency, if any great ones become available.

  34. Jeff Smith Says:

    Love the back and forth! Nice write-up Joe Bucs Fan! I appreciate you giving the other side of the argument from my argument.

    Obviously it’s not always a numbers game, for what it’s worth, though, I spent a pretty fair amount of time watching the Buccaneers this year, and something to factor in is the fact that I’m not completely sold that the Bucs actually need him. Save the money, spend elsewhere and keep the youth movement going in Tampa.

    The Buccaneers are going to be a playoff team within two seasons, with or without Jackson. Winston’s growth wasn’t impacted by Jackson, as he missed six games this year and the rook is still in the Pro Bowl.

    As for the Kenny Bell argument, I love his upside, it’s tremendous. To ask what Bell did after the second week of training camp is crazy, you even just admitted that he was injured.

    Love the great debate, and appreciate your side of the argument.

  35. Jeff Smith Says:

    Side note- someone above mentioned Alshon Jeffery? Yes, please.

    There are some strong options in FA at WR this year, and ones who are quite a bit younger than Jackson as well. Spend your cash well!