DeSean Jackson Explains Why He Was Unhappy In Tampa Before He Ever Took A Snap

July 3rd, 2022

Joe sometimes wonders what would have happened if the Bucs didn’t let defensive coordinator Mike Smith and receiver DeSean Jackson return to One Buc Palace after the 2017 season.

Neither was thriving and both seemed somewhat disinterested.

It’s a scary thought now because dumping those guys before the 2018 season might have led to Bucco Bruce Arians not being hired and Tom Brady never landing in Tampa to bless long-suffering Bucs fans.

Joe is thinking of this while catching up on episodes of the I Am Athlete podcast, which is always an enlightening listen. Jackson was a recent guest and talked about how he is a more dangerous deep threat than Randy Moss ever was. (Got it, DeSean.)

Following that take, Jackson gave his view on when things went sour for him in Tampa after he signed a fat deal in March of 2017.

“I butted heads with Dirk Koetter. Me and Dirk Koetter, we for some reason we didn’t, and then the receiver coach Todd Monken at the time, when I got paid, he was like, ‘You gotta earn your money,”’ Jackson began.

“I’m like, ‘That’s the point of you all paying me. I already earned it. Of course I’m going to come to work and do my thing.’ But the first thing he said in the media when I signed was, ‘Yeah, he’s going to have to come in and earn his money.’ The receiver coach!

“So they had like an old school college mentality and we butted heads. So my third year, I’m like, ‘Y’all might as well just trade me and get me up outta here.’ I’m low-key mad because Tom came in the next year and won a Super Bowl.”

In March of 2019, with Bucco Bruce Arians as head coach, the Bucs traded Jackson and a 2020 seventh-round pick to the Eagles for a 2019 sixth-round compensatory selection, which was used to draft Scotty Miller.

So for those keeping score, Jackson didn’t want to play for Arians, an offensive guru known for throwing deep.

Joe had to laugh when Jackson said he already earned his Bucs salary before taking a snap. Joe understands what Jackson was saying, but that line really illustrated what a me-first guy he is compared to Mike Evans or Chris Godwin.

Consider Jackson a valuable lesson learned by general manager Jason Licht, who has matured into an elite GM.

43 Responses to “DeSean Jackson Explains Why He Was Unhappy In Tampa Before He Ever Took A Snap”

  1. Eric Says:

    we have reached the point where u can’t tell a man he has to earn his salary.

  2. westernbuc Says:

    Todd Monken is a national champion and elevated Mike Evans to a Hall of Famer.

    Desean Jackson also bailed on the Rams this year, before they went on to win the Super Bowl, because he wasn’t getting the ball enough. Trash person, overrated player, and documented fan of fake Hitler quotes.

  3. Rod Munch Says:

    I don’t understand why you sign a guy without them talking to the coaches. Yes, I get the rush to sign a guy first, but you’d think the players and the team would want to spend a few minutes talking to each other to make sure it’s a good fit. From Tampa’s side, they should have known what they were getting, a diva, and if you’re going to sign a diva, you don’t treat him the same way you treat everyone else. If you’re not willing to do that, then you don’t sign them.

    From DJ’s side I actually understand his frustration a bit more. Dirk is a nobody, doesn’t really have a rep, and he’s a loser, so you figure DJ comes in thinking, if they want me, they know what they’re getting.

    Just sort of sounds like a cluster.

  4. Tim Says:

    Nobody was like Moss. NOBODY. And I say that, remembering all the times he torched the Bucs. A man among children he was.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What a novel thought…….”you’ll have to earn your money” and DJ thought…”I’ve already earned it”….yep….somewhere else….

    How glad I am we have players like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin & Russell Gage;;;;;;earn their money every week….and happy to do so.

  6. Rod Munch Says:

    Tim – Yeah, Moss is the best WR in the history of the NFL, and yeah, I saw Rice. Moss is the ONLY guy that could consistently torch those all-time great Buccaneers defenses. You could completely have him covered and he’d just leap in the air, above everyone else, and catch the ball – and hang on to it as Lynch would knock the hell out of him. Nobody else could do that, certainly not that hack TO who the Bucs easily shutdown. But with Moss, if he decided he wanted to play, you could not stop him. There is no one else in his class, ever.

  7. Rod Munch Says:

    Tampabaybucfan – Yeah, the Bucs WRs are great because they’re not divas. But that signing is on the Bucs, they knew what they were getting and then just said, we paid you, now be humble. That literally NEVER works out. If a team isn’t willing to accommodate someone, then you don’t sign him. It’s a really bad signing by Licht if that’s how it happened. Also is shows Licht and Dirk were absolutely not on the same page.

  8. sasquatch Says:

    This guy is the epitome of the most selfish prima donna athletes. Avoid at all costs. BFD if Monken said he had to go earn it. The entitlement with these type of guys is unbelievable.

  9. Beeej Says:

    I also remember Jameis NOT throwing him the ball when he was open, not unlike OBJ and Mayfield

  10. Goatfarmer Says:

    Dooshawn Jackson can lock himself in a closet for the next 50 years. No one will miss him, care, or even notice. What a loser.

    Go eff yourself, Dooshawn.

  11. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Still waiting for Joe to write about what Jackson did to try and torpedo Jamies’s career.

  12. Beeej Says:

    I always wondered did Jameis have a visceral dislike for him, or did he only feel comfortable looking at Evans from the snap onward

  13. Joe Says:

    Still waiting for Joe to write about what Jackson did to try and torpedo Jamies’s career.

    As Joe has repeatedly stated, when the parties involved are no longer in their current positions, then Joe will spill the beans. Also, at the NFL Scouting Combine this year, Joe specfifically asked the source if it was ok to share now — nearly five years later. The source said he preferred that the confidence be kept for now.

  14. Joe Says:

    Always remember and never forget that DeSean Jackson quit on a Super Bowl-winner.

  15. Jack Says:

    Yes DSJ was a diva, but he also produced 1,400 yards and 7 touchdowns for an underperforming non-playoff team with a QB who threw 25 INT’s in the two years JSJ played with the Bucs. Credit the coaching staff for turning the players into winners. It was fortunate DSJ left when he did. Bucco Bruce would have never allowed the drama just like he said enough with Antonio Brownn’s act.

  16. mark2001 Says:

    A…. in the salary cap era, not trying is the same as torpedoing a team. There isn’t money to spare to have players not playing hard to help their team win.

  17. CleanHouse Says:

    I enjoyed that Fitzpatrick/ Deshaun game vs the saints- I remember wincing when Monken said that. See Deshauns point. I’m not saying I’m a Deshaun fan or in his corner-

    Oh well- I like Bucs TDs no matter who catches them. Love Scotty Miller and hope he balls out

  18. Tye Says:

    One of the most telling Pics I remember is the one of JW chomping at his fingers like a mental patient and Deshaun’s look of bewilderment… Deshaun knew the Bucs were going nowhere until they got talent at the qb position!

  19. mark2001 Says:

    Moss only had one weakness…probably the weakness of most receivers. You had to hit him hard and continually, for him to start short arming the ball and slowing down in routes. When he was healthy and untouched? Forget about it.. scoreboard.

  20. mark2001 Says:

    JW just wasn’t consistent enough and unable to stop occasionally giving games away, or stay away from controversy, no matter how good the games the D played. He just couldn’t be counted on. Did Brees and Payton straighten him out, so he can keep from doing those things without either of them on the sideline? I don’t know. But time will tell.

  21. firethecannons Says:

    the superbowl was awesome especially in light of 5 years of Jameis

    desean jackson was a disappointment but that was mostly winston’s fault he was a locker room cancer but that could of been tolerated if he was producing and that was winston’s fault

  22. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @mark2001 I understand your point. I’m speaking to a specific action or acts that Jackson took to destroy Jameis’s career behind closed doors. Joe has alluded to it at times the past few years, but won’t spill the beans because of the nature of whatever happened is pretty bad and his source is a current employee.

    Just patiently waiting for that day.

  23. Your Mom Says:

    brrrp Grammar police says: disinterested means fair and equitable, uninterested means not caring. A judge should be disinterested but not uninterested. A player not caring about his team is uninterested. You are a journalist?
    Might want to check your grammar, “Your Mom.” Either one is fine.– Joe

  24. Your Mom Says:

    I think we’d all like to be given a lot of money and have to do nothing in return, DeSean. What a moron.

  25. geno711 Says:

    DeSean Jackson < Chris Godwin < Mike Evans < Randy Moss < Jerry Rice

  26. Crickett Baker Says:

    JW ate his fingers when he was no longer a Buc, as I recall. Moss was dangerous against the Bucs as a WR, but almost all of Barry Sanders (RB) highlights show him making monkeys of the Bucs. I will never forget him.

  27. Lokog Says:

    All this time i blamed jaymiss winsnot for djax wanting out

  28. adam from ny Says:

    fitzy was djax’s fave buc…

    now spill the beans joeski — we’ve been waiting for yearsss 🙂

  29. Kansas95Buc Says:

    The hate for Jameis is unreal. Joe didn’t mention that man and yall still up in arms

  30. David Says:

    What a diva. You’re that upset because you signed for millions and someone said you have to earn it? That’s absolutely ridiculous…. good riddance.

  31. Dooley Says:


    Jameis left a large portion of this fan base with PTSD lol it was so bad, there were people cheering for him to throw the first INT of the game early thinking it would improve our chances of winning at one point in his time in Tampa.

  32. OMFS88 Says:

    DeSean Jackson is an anti-Semite

  33. Goatfarmer Says:

    Dooshawn Jackson is an abysmal doosh and an example of what is wrong with prima donnas who think they are entitled and say whatever, do whatever.

    Meanwhile we have Evans, Godwin, Gage, Miller, Perriman, Grayson, Tyler —. All really good dudes who are totally about team and each other’s success if not more than their own.

    EffU Dooshawn Jackson. At least AB gave his all at practice and in the games and contributed mightily to a Super Bowl win. Dooshawn doesn’t even care enough to stay with a winner because he is blinded by selfish grandeur – and now he will be done. No one will, or should, touch him.

  34. Matlok727 Says:

    He forced his way off two Super Bowl teams

  35. Jimmy James Says:

    DeSean Jackson just one of the best deep threats of all time I wish you could stay here in Tampa and play with us but he felt something wasn’t right it probably was

  36. Goatfarmer Says:

    Incidentally, Dooshawn couldn’t get a job kicking the bottom of Randy Moss’s shoes, as a player or a person. What a toad.

  37. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I nominate Jimmy James for worst post of the month, with a good chance at worst post of the year.

  38. Pewter Power Says:

    Didn’t he have a free agent visit before signing? How could you come in talk to the coaches then butt heads after signing dude.

  39. Jack Skipper Says:

    Listen: for Duh Sean to compare himself to Moss as a deep threat tells you how out of touch he is. This dude is satellite dish Dionne Warwick material. He’s win poison

  40. Jerseybuc Says:

    He wears out his welcome whoever he goes. Can’t stand him.

  41. Marcel Friedrich Says:

    Hmm I getting what he says. In every Sport you get paid for how you performed recently and how they hope/predict you play for the next few years but that’s it. As a Player if you think nonstop omg they pay me so much so I have to get at least 5 touchdowns each game you will break on this mentality. So you take the Money and do your best every Day and Game without thinking how much you earn and if you have earned the Money.

    You have always players on a roster who get payed more than they are worth this season and also always Players who get payed less. Should all the Players who got payed less stop improving/playing and saying hey you get what you paid for.

  42. lambchop Says:

    DJax had better chemistry with Fitzy, it’s a no brainer he wanted Fitzy as his QB. Jameis torpedoed his own career as a Buc. Too inconsistent. Why aren’t people coming out now and saying Arians’s offense leads to a high number of INTs? Brady seems to be doing just fine in this offense. Albeit, you can’t compare any QB to the GOAT, but it shows it’s not just the system – it’s also the QB who runs the system who dictates whether the system necessitates a tremendous amount of INTs.

    No riskit, no biscuit isn’t about being careless and fling the football blindly down the field. It’s about going for bigger plays and putting the pressure on the defense when everyone else dinks and dunks.

  43. lambchop Says:

    And btw, these diva players. like DJax, are way too sensitive. A better player would have used that comment as motivation. He doesn’t realize that the comment was made knowing what kind of person DJax is. Some players sit on a big contract while others feel pressure to live up to the hype. I think we all know which player Monken thought DJax was. I think we would all mostly agree with Monken. NFL coaches always uses ways to motivate players, nobody is off limits.