DeSean Jackson said he signed with Tampa to play with Jameis Winston.
Jackson, a California native, said he signed with Tampa so he could take advantage of the nice weather.
Buccaneers offensive coordinator/receivers coach Todd Monken doesn't want to hear any of that.
Tampa showed DeSean the money — a three-year, $33.5 million deal with $20 million guaranteed — and that, Monken insists, is why Jackson signed with the Bucs.
And he's made sure Jackson knows it.
“You came here because of the money," Monken told the Tampa Bay Times. "Don’t give me all that bull about you came here because of the weather and Jameis. No. You came here because we paid you the most. You need to play like that. He gets that. He’s smart enough to understand that.’’
More importantly, however, Monken points out that this contract wasn't a reward for past performance.
“I’ve told him that, ‘we have paid you a hell of a lot of money to be a damn good player. We’re not paying you a lot of money, this is a contract where we’re paying you for what you’ve done for us … we’re not paying like (Derek) Jeter the last three years … we don’t have any old street cred that we’re paying you. No. We need you to be a great player now. OK? That’s why we gave you the money.’’
Of course it came down to money. But for the 30-year-old Jackson, the chance to play with a pair of young stars in Winston and receiver Mike Evans shouldn't be dismissed.
Plus, Jackson, who now will be joined by highly-touted tight end O.J. Howard, the Bucs' first-round pick, says he's prepared to be more than just a great player on the field. He's ready to serve the same mentor role a few Eagles legends played for him while he grew up in Philadelphia.
“I remember being in Philadelphia with Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook and Brian Dawkins and kind of picking their brains and leaning on them and then going to Washington and being that guy that’s a little older and (that’s) expecting other players to be at their best and expecting to get the best out of (them),’’ Jackson told ESPN in March (via Floridafootballinsiders.com). “It’s really just a mentality that you have to have to where you accept nothing but greatness, because we’ll put in the work and hopefully it will pay off.’’