With second-year players Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn suffering through sophomore slumps in 2011, the Buccaneers were in the market for a big play wide receiver and Jackson figures to take over as the team’s top threat in 2012. Jackson signed a five-year, $55-million contract with Tampa Bay that includes $36-million in payments over the first three years of the deal. The former Division II player out of Northern Colorado possesses excellent size at 6’5” and 230 pounds and speed as his career average yards per catch of 17.5 indicates. Jackson has also shown the ability to out jump defenders on deep balls. Removing his injury-marred, suspension and contract holdout shortened 2010 season, Jackson caught 187 passes for 3,371 yards and 25 touchdowns during the 2008, 2009 and 2011 seasons. However, that production was in San Diego. He goes from catching passes from one of the top quarterbacks in the league and playing in the league’s 5th ranked scoring offense to playing with a far more inexperienced quarterback coming off a horrible season and playing in the league’s 27th ranked scoring offense. Jackson was the 10th ranked fantasy wide receiver in 2011 but he rates as a mid-tier WR2 in 2012. Simply put, Josh Freeman is coming off a horrendous season and has not proven to be as accurate on deep passes as Philip Rivers and those plays have been Jackson’s bread and butter throughout his career.
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