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The contract includes $26 million in guaranteed money with $36 million paid out over the first three years. According to Florio, the $26 million comes in the first two years via a $2 million roster bonus in 2012 and a fully-guaranteed $11 million base salary in 2012. For 2013, he gets a $13 million base salary, also fully guaranteed.
Florio added the last three years aren’t fully guaranteed, with a $10 million base salary in 2014, a base salary of $9,777,777 in 2015, and a base salary of $9,777,778 in 2016.
Those thinking that's a lot of money for a 29-year old receiver are right. But as St. Petersburg Times beat writer Rick Stroud notes, Tampa Bay needed a No. 1 receiver for quarterback Josh Freeman and Jackson is exactly that.
According to ESPN and Scout Inc. insider Matt Williamson, there are consistency issues with Jackson, but he is big, fast and extremely talented. He owns a career average of 17.5 yards, can stretch the field and will make defenses account for him.
That should make young receivers such as Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn more effective.
Williams, who led all rookie receivers with 11 touchdowns in 2010, struggled last season following the lockout, had too many drops and produced only three TDs in 2011. Benn was not as explosive coming off surgery to repair a torn ACL.
The Bucs believe in Freeman, despite his 22 interceptions last season. Too often, receivers could not get separation and the lack of a deep threat also impacted the running game.
New head coach Greg Schiano says he wants the Bucs to own a physical running game and take shots downfield with Freeman, who has a strong arm and is accurate throwing the deep ball.
According to Stroud, signing Jackson, in addition to sending a signal to Bucs fans that the Glazer family (which owns the team) will spend what it takes to win, will be a big shot in the arm for the offense.
Jackson received the franchise tag from the Chargers in 2011 and went on to catch 60 passes for 1,106 yards and nine touchdowns.
It was Jackson's third season of more than 1,000 yards receiving, including three of his last four years. His 2010 season was derailed by a near season-long holdout over a contract dispute.
In 91 career games, the 6-5 Jackson has 272 catches for 4,754 yards and 37 touchdowns.