The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traded wide receiver DeSean Jackson to the Philadelphia Eagles, clearing cap space, adding draft capital and opening up a full-time starting spot for rising third-year wideout Chris Godwin.
The trade, which did not become official until the new league year began on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET, nets the Buccaneers a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft (208th overall). Tampa Bay will send a 2020 seventh-round selection back to the Eagles along with Jackson. The Bucs now own seven picks in this year's draft, including their own selections in each of the first five rounds, the sixth-rounder added on Wednesday and the first pick in the seventh round, which previously belonged to the Arizona Cardinals. In January, Tampa Bay traded its sixth-round pick to Arizona in exchange for that seventh-rounder to facilitate the hiring of new Head Coach Bruce Arians.
Jackson returns to his original team, as he played six seasons in Philadelphia (2008-13) after the Eagles chose him in the second round of the 2008 draft. That was followed by a three-year run in Washington before Jackson signed with the Buccaneers in 2017. The Bucs traded the 12th-year veteran with one year remaining on the deal he inked in March of 2017 and in so doing added significant space under the salary cap without incurring any "dead money."
In his two seasons as a Buccaneer, Jackson played in 26 games with 23 starts and recorded 91 receptions for 1,442 yards and seven touchdowns. His 41 receptions in 2018 marked the second-lowest total of his career but he also led the NFL with an average of 18.9 yards per catch. In his 11 seasons in the NFL, Jackson has recorded 589 catches for 10,261 yards and 53 touchdowns.
The Buccaneers led the NFL in net passing yards in 2018, averaging 320.3 per game. They were just the fifth team in NFL history to feature four different players with at least 750 receiving yards. One of those four was second-year player Chris Godwin, who was second on the team to Mike Evans (1,524 yards) with 842 yards on 59 grabs. Godwin was listed as a co-starter with Jackson throughout the 2018 season and actually played significantly more snaps than his veteran teammate (717 to 453).
A third-round pick out of Penn State in 2017, Godwin is clearly ready to assume an even larger role in the Buccaneers' offense in 2019. He increased his totals significantly from his rookie output (34 catches for 525 yards), most notably scoring seven touchdowns in 2018 after finding the end zone just once the year before.