If Jackson deserves the paycheck, pay him

Look, I understand many are saying Doug Martin deserves the pay day because of how important he was to quarterback Jameis Winston’s rookie season. If he returns, that is wonderful. But what is also important to a quarterback’s growth is a reliable receiver and veteran Vincent Jackson is just that.

Our good friends over at JoeBucsFan.com brought up in interesting topic about how many players the Bucs should overpay. Jackson was listed as one.

Yes, Jackson is over 30 years old. Yes, he had some injuries last year. However, you know what else he has done? He has recorded 1,000-yard seasons in three consecutive seasons in Tampa Bay heading into last season with quarterbacks like Josh Freeman, Mike Glennon and Josh McCown. Seriously? Seriously… And if he played through the season injury-free, then perhaps he could have surpassed another 1,000-yard season given that he was more than halfway there.

Mike Evans struggled with drops last year and Winston clearly was trying to start something special between the two. Also, think about what he did with guys named Cameron Brate, Adam Humphries and Donteea Dye. If he had a healthy Jackson things could have been much different. I can almost guarantee that. Hell, the fact that he still demands the respect and draws the attention from opposing defensive backs that could have benefited Evans as well.

Jackson is an iron man. He played in every game for four seasons heading into 2015. So what if he has lost a step? So what if he has had his fair share of a couple drops here in there? One thing he has always been consistent with — including during his limited 2015 campaign — is his route running and clutch receptions. You can’t say that about anyone else on the Bucs roster. Not even Evans.

So does Jackson deserve his 2016 salary? People will debate it, but in reality, you bet he does.

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