Each day we look at players on the Buccaneers' roster and decide whether that player should be brought back for 2015 or if the Bucs should move on. When a team is 2-14, major changes lie on the horizon. Today, we take a look at wide receiver Vincent Jackson.
The Case to Keep: The Bucs might have drafted Mike Evans last May, but finding receivers the size of Vincent Jackson are no easy feat. Jackson has been a reliable go-to receiver for the Bucs since they signed him in free agency a few years ago. While there might be some attractive younger receivers (Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Randall Cobb) available in free agency, I anticipate them staying with their original clubs, making it harder to replace Jackson if released. Perhaps even more than his play on the field, Jackson's impact in the community has been his best gift to Tampa Bay. The "Jackson in Action" organization has connected with military families across the Bay area.
The Case to Cut:One thing we know about the NFL is that it's a business. Vincent Jackson turns 32 years old today and has already started to lose some of the speed he once had. Jackson has also dropped some key passes over the course of his time in Tampa. When you combine those aspects with the fact that he counts $12.2 million towards the Bucs cap in 2015, the case to cut becomes a little more clear. If cut as a "post June 1st cut," the Bucs would save nearly $9.8 million in cap room to spend on other younger players to help in the Buccaneers rebuilding process.
Cut or Keep:I know many loyal Bucs fans will want to keep Vincent Jackson. He's become a popular player. Plus, I really don't know who you'd replace him with. However, the nearly $10 million that the Bucs could save in cap space could go to the continued rebuilding of their offensive and defensive lines. If the Bucs are building their offense with youth (drafted QB, Mike Evans, Seferian-Jenkins, Charles Sims) then maybe Jackson could be moved to save that money. In the end, I think he is on the Bucs roster for the 2015 season to give the Bucs drafted quarterback plenty of weapons to be successful and boost his confidence.
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