Tanard Jackson Becomes Eligible This Week
September 21, 2011 at 12:21pm by Scott • 4 Comments »
Tanard Jackson is eligible for reinstatement this week and several people on this site have asked about what might happen when the Ginger Hammer finally waves his magic wand and allows him to play football again. Stephen Holder wrote an article intended to temper enthusiasm for his return, because Lord knows we have such an overabundance of hope and optimism these days.
For starters, do not assume Jackson will automatically be back on the Bucs’ roster on Thursday, for several reasons. The biggest of these is that the Bucs don’t have any control over this situation.
That sounds like a pretty good reason. Just because Roger Goodell can bring him back this week doesn’t mean he will. He may let him sit and stew a while longer. It’s always a good idea to keep drug addicts away from their support system and jobs that keep them busy for as long as possible.
Here’s another thing to consider: Where do the Bucs stand on opening their arms to Jackson? They own his rights for the time being, and would be able to place him on their roster relatively cheaply. But after being burned twice by Jackson’s substance-abuse issues, the Bucs are sure to at least have something to think about.
Raheem Morris will give second, third and fourth chances as long as he thinks the player is sincere. Jackson always seemed sincere to me when I heard him talk about his problem and he probably hasn’t changed. Plus it doesn’t hurt that Jackson is a defensive back and Morris has a soft spot for those guys.
Another consideration: Jackson may or may not be in football shape.
I’m so glad he cleared that up. Seriously, though, I get his point. Lots of players came off the lockout in less-than-football shape and that was just a few months. Jackson has been gone a year. I don’t think he’s gone completely Rosie O’Donnell on us, but I’d bet he’s not running his 40 as quick as he used to. A herd of coaches shouting at you has a way of motivating you to perform, and when they’re not around you’re probably not going to work as hard all the time.
My prediction is that Goodell lets him sit for another week or two, then he gets reinstated and sits in roster limbo for a couple weeks as the Bucs take advantage of a roster exemption. Then he’ll get put back on the 53-man roster but may be inactive for a little while. Then during practices when it becomes evident that he is clearly better than Cody Grimm, he’ll be back. Maybe week nine? That’s as good a guess as any.