Second-year WR Dexter Jackson played in seven games as a rookie
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have waived second-year wide receiver Dexter Jackson, completing the first round of NFL-mandated roster cuts.
The release of Jackson trims the Buccaneers' roster to 75 players, which was necessary by Tuesday to comply with the new limit. After playing their preseason finale against Houston on Friday, the Bucs must further reduce their roster to 53 players, the regular-season limit.
A former standout at Appalachian State, Jackson was Tampa Bay's second-round draft pick in 2008. He played in seven games during his rookie season, returning 14 kickoffs for 327 yards (23.4-yard avg.) and 20 punts for 97 yards (4.9-yard avg.). His top moment as a rookie came during the 2008 preseason, when he returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown against the Texans and helped the Buccaneers to a 16-6 victory.
That game helped Jackson secure the Buccaneers' kick return job to start the 2008 regular season. However, he struggled to repeat that success in September and October and eventually lost the return job to undrafted rookie Clifton Smith. Jackson was declared inactive for the final nine games of the season and Smith was an immediate hit in the role, eventually becoming the first Buccaneer to earn NFC Pro Bowl honors as a return man.
The 5-9, 182-pound Jackson did not have a reception as a rookie and was considered more of a project as a receiver. He came into his second Buccaneer training camp hoping to carve out a role as a pass-catcher but will now need a fresh NFL start after Monday's release. Jackson played in the Buccaneers' preseason opener at Tennessee but suffered a mild ankle injury on a punt return and did not appear in the next two contests.
The Buccaneers previously released defensive end Jarriett Buie, wide receiver Kelly Campbell, defensive back DeAngelo Willingham and guard Julius Wilson on Saturday.