Bucs tell DeSean Jackson to play like he is being paid

Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr./Icon Sportswire

The Tampa Bay Bucs stole WR DeSean Jackson from the Redskins in free agency by giving him $33.5M over three years, with a full $20M of that in guaranteed money. When asked about him, receivers coach Todd Monken noted that he had a lot to live up to with a deal like that. Per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, he said:

“How can we get DeSean Jackson up to playing at a really high level? Not that he’s still not capable of it, but how do we get him to play at why we paid him? I’ve told him that, we have paid you a hell of a lot of money to be a damn good player. We’re not paying you a lot of money, this is a contract where we’re paying you for what you’ve done for us … we’re not paying like (Derek) Jeter the last three years … we don’t have any old street cred that we’re paying you. No. We need you to be a great player now. Okay? That’s why we gave you the money.”

Aging players are sometimes paid as a reward at the end of their careers, even when teams know they’re on the decline but they want to respect an icon. The Bucs are just bringing him in now, so they’re paying him for future production. Monken said:

“You came here because of the money. Don’t give me all that bull about you came here because of the weather and Jameis (Winston). No. You came here because we paid you the most. You need to play like that. He gets that. He’s smart enough to understand that.”

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