Wide receiver DeSean Jackson reunites with Sean McVay on one-year Rams deal

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson warms up before a game.
Former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has agreed to a deal with the Rams.
(Laurence Kesterson / Associated Press)

Two days after the Rams introduced Matthew Stafford, they gave their new quarterback a new weapon.

The Rams announced Sunday that they had agreed to terms with veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson, providing coach Sean McVay and the offense with a potential deep threat that was sorely lacking in 2020.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but it is a one-year contract, a person with knowledge of the situation said.


Jackson, 34, has 56 touchdown catches and has averaged 17.4 yards per catch during a 13-year NFL career that began with the Philadelphia Eagles and has also included stints with Washington — where McVay was offensive coordinator — and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before he rejoined the Eagles for two injury hampered seasons.

Matthew Stafford might not have the glitz and glam of Hollywood, but the strong-armed quarterback is just what the Rams need to get to a Super Bowl.

Jackson played in only five games last season because of hamstring and ankle injuries. He caught 14 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown.

It will be a homecoming for Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who played at Long Beach Poly High and California before the Eagles selected him in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft.
In 2013, Jackson caught a career-best 82 passes for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns for the Eagles.

Over the next three seasons in Washington with McVay, he caught 14 touchdown passes. In 2014, he caught 56 passes and averaged 20.9 yards per reception. The next season, he caught 30 passes and averaged 17.6 yards per catch. In 2016, he caught 56 passes and averaged 17.9 yards per catch.

Jackson joins a receiver corps that includes Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and second-year pro Van Jefferson.

In McVay’s first season with the Rams in 2017, the offense flourished with Sammy Watkins as a deep threat. Brandin Cooks filled that role in 2018, when the Rams advanced to the Super Bowl, before suffering multiple concussions in 2019.

Last season, the Rams’ longest touchdown pass play covered 56 yards, and McVay rarely gave former quarterback Jared Goff the opportunity to throw deep routes.

Since the end of the season, which concluded with a loss to the Green Bay Packers in an NFC divisional-round playoff game, McVay acknowledged that the Rams needed to create more “explosives” to prevent having to rely upon lengthy drives.

Last week, general manager Les Snead also acknowledged the need for speedy “skill players with juice” to force defensive coordinators to commit safeties to pass coverage.

“The difficult part of the equation is finding those players who can actually threaten NFL defenders, because most players that come into this league are fast,” Snead said. “So, there is an element where you have to really go search and identify.”

McVay said it requires more than a deep threat. As the play-caller, he must put that in play.

“When you talk about opportunities, you have to call plays that give you an opportunity to be explosive, and that’s where my contribution is,” he said. “Anytime that you have guys that can do that, that definitely is a benefit.”