DeSean Jackson talks joining Raiders: “The Raiders’ fit matched perfect”

Source: Frank Franklin II/AP Photo

DeSean Jackson has been one of the most productive receivers in the NFL during his 14-year career. Less than two weeks after being granted his release from the Los Angeles Rams, DeSean Jackson is bringing his wealth of football knowledge and experience to the desert to join a Raiders team that is legitimately contending in a wide-open AFC.

“After I got released… I was sitting back reflecting, didn’t really rush to make any decisions,” Jackson said during Wednesday’s media availability. “Just really wanted to see the best situation that fit me.”

“I was interested in a playoff contender. I wanted to go somewhere to a winning culture and had a chance to make the playoffs… I just felt like the Raiders’ fit matched perfect.”

Raiders QB Derek Carr is playing some of the best football of his career right now and has taken the team’s passing attack to new heights in 2021. Carr’s elevation of the offense was undoubtedly aided by what appeared to be a breakout season from former Raiders WR Henry Ruggs III.

Ruggs had been burning defenses deep before his release but was becoming more than a deep threat, consistently flashing his potential into developing into a true WR1 in the NFL. The Raiders will not be lacking weapons without Ruggs, as Jackson joins an offense that features TE Darren Waller, WRs Hunter Renfrow and Bryan Edwards, and RBs Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake.

“Whatever it is I’m asked to do,” Jackson said. “At this point where I’m at, coming in midway through it. Unfortunately the situation with Ruggs, not saying filling that role, but just being that spark, what I’ve been able to do my whole career. Deep threat, vertical threat. Having a defense have to account for that.”

“If it’s being a decoy, opening it up for others guys like Waller, Hunter, whatever it is I need to do be a spark, that’s what I’m here for.”

DeSean Jackson will make an immediate impact schematically for the Raiders, whose offense sputtered and stalled in their Week 9 road loss against the Giants. WR Zay Jones played the most snaps of any Raiders receiver in Week 9 with 66, good for 96% of the team’s total snaps. But Jones was held to just one catch on four targets. Even if Jackson enters a platoon with Jones to fill that role in the offense, the Raiders should see a marked improvement in production.

“He’s very fast. He can still run, and that definitely showed up today (at practice),” Derek Carr said Wednesday.

“When you can add a talent like that, I think we’re in the business of adding good football players. I’ve always loved him. I know guys that played with him that love him. Just being around him today on the practice field actually working, it’s going to be hard not to get along with that guy. Especially the way he can run – it was nice to see that #1 jersey flying down the field.”

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