Whenever the question emerges regarding the potential signing of soon-to-be-free-agent receiver DeSean Jackson by the Giants, the immediate response is this: They’ll soon have to give Odell Beckham Jr. a second contract, and they can’t pay two No. 1 receivers.
That same point should be made whenever the Buccaneers are linked to Jackson. Like Beckham, receiver Mike Evans is currently eligible for a new contract. Like Beckham, Evans is one of the best receivers in the league. Like Beckham, Evans will command big money, at some point.
So can the Buccaneers pay Jackson now and Evans later? It could be a challenge, especially since the Bucs typically don’t give out signing bonuses, opting for guaranteed salaries instead.
The best solution could be to load up Jackson’s compensation in the first two years of the deal (fully guaranteed), sign Evans to a long-term deal after 2017 with a lower cap number for the first year. Then, after 2018, the Buccaneers can move on from Jackson and find a lower-priced complement to Evans.
Another potential fly in the ointment is the question of whether Jackson regards Jameis Winston as a high-end quarterback. Jackson could regard others as better. The question becomes whether the Buccaneers are offering significantly more than the teams whose quarterbacks are significantly more accomplished.