Steelers must sign recently released Rams WR DeSean Jackson
By Andrew Falce
With his recent release from the Rams, the Steelers have to consider adding Jackson as a deep threat to this receiving room.
The Rams and DeSean Jackson had a falling out this season, and it all culminated in the veteran requesting a trade. Nothing came about before the deadline though, so the Rams opted to cut Jackson as opposed to keeping him around on the roster. With the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ need at receiver, they should be running at the opportunity to sign Jackson.
While receiver isn’t the biggest need on the roster, the loss of JuJu Smith-Schuster for the year has certainly been felt. No longer can the team mix and match who they send out onto the field at a given time, and the team is now one injury away from being in an extremely bad situation. Having the extra depth would be helpful. While Cody White, Steven Sims, and Anthony Miller are all younger options with some upside, none are close to the caliber of player that Jackson is.
DeSean Jackson would provide the Steelers something unique
The Steelers receiving room is lacking speed. That seems contrary to the fact that two of their top three wideouts are perceived as deep threats, but this team is lacking that pure deep threat. James Washington is a physical receiver that can win deep, but he doesn’t have the pure straight-line speed to blow past defenders. As for Chase Claypool, the second-year player is extremely athletic and has great speed for someone his size. That said, he isn’t going to run away from anyone on streaks and is usually winning with his physicality deep as opposed to his pure speed.
Jackson is the exact opposite of this. He was brought into the league as a deep threat with serious speed and has maintained that role well into his thirties. Despite the fact that he is getting older, currently 34, his speed hasn’t seemed to take a hit yet. On only eight catches with the Rams, Jackson was averaging an obscene 27.6 yards per catch. The Steelers are lacking a threat like that on their offense.
Considering his age and expected role for the team, Jackson would likely come in cheaply and provide a great veteran for the younger players to look up to. As well, he would be good for a shot or two deep each game while also serving as injury insurance in case another starter is lost to injuries. He even served as a limited return man last year for the Eagles, and in a pinch, he could fill that role for the Steelers if needed.
The Steelers were not overly aggressive before the trade deadline, but that shouldn’t stop them from still adding to this roster. The playoffs are suddenly back in sight, but this team still needs help. Jackson would be a huge get for this receiving room, as his unique ability is something that this offense is sorely lacking. Considering his release, the Steelers should be all over trying to get the veteran to come to Pittsburgh.