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Ravens WR DeSean Jackson Nearly Signed With Steelers, Now Has ‘Extra Motivation’



DeSean Jackson

When DeSean Jackson lines up against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens receiver told The Lounge Podcast that he’ll have some added fuel to his fire.

After last playing for the Las Vegas Raiders a season ago, Jackson said that he took some time off, not worrying too much about the next step. He added that he talked to Kansas City head coach Andy Reid — who he played for during his days in Philadelphia — and also the Steelers, who showed some interest but never added him to the mix.

“Now I got an edge to really get after them,” Jackson said. “Mike Tomlin, we had a few talks. He was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to bring you in.’ It never happened. Now y’all missed out and are on the other side. So now I have some extra motivation.”

Jackson, who turned 36 on Dec. 1, is on his sixth NFL team. He hasn’t surpassed 250 receiving yards in a campaign in 2018, when he went for 668 yards during his last season with Tampa Bay.

“I had a few teams that, obviously, were interested,” Jackson said. “Obviously, the age always plays a factor when you’re 35 and a lot of teams are like, ‘Man, he’s older. Can he still play? Can he still do it?’ For me, no offers really interested me, so I just kind of focused on my kids, myself, took time to myself.”

Baltimore, who was originally in touch with Jackson’s agent during training camp, ended up being the landing spot for the speedy pass-catcher, who got the itch to suit back up after watching from the couch earlier in the schedule.

“I kind of got a taste of retirement and I don’t know, man, kind of out of nowhere, something sparked,” Jackson said. “It was like, the first few weeks, I’m sitting at home watching football on Sundays and I’m like, ‘I can’t still play, man.'”

Jackson has played against Pittsburgh four times, averaging nearly eight targets and five catches per game. The Ravens will likely be rolling with backup quarterback signal-caller Tyler Huntley as Lamar Jackson nurses a knee injury.