After being out of football for 13 months, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated Buccaneers safety Tanard Jackson two weeks ago. Jackson started a few days later, and in the two games since, he's recorded two interceptions, two passes defended and six tackles. He's also upgraded Tampa's secondary after Cody Grimm (who, incidentally, replaced Jackson last season) was placed on injured reserve last month.
Just how important is Jackson to the Bucs? The team signed him to a contract extension Thursday, after he missed the first five games of 2011 as part of his suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Details via Stephen Holder of the St. Petersburg Times:
The Bucs saw fit to make sure they kept Jackson around longer, approaching him with the contract extension last week. The new deal calls for Jackson to make a base salaries of $1.454 million this season and $2 million in 2012, according to figures from the NFL Players Association. Before now, Jackson's contract was scheduled to expire at the end of this season and he previously was on the books for $600,000 in base salary for 2011."The Bucs have been tremendously supportive of him all along," agent Peter Schaffer said, via Holder. "Tampa Bay believes he's made a positive change in his life and that he's taken every possible step to go in a positive direction. No one's ever out of the woods, but they really believe in him and I believe in him."
A 2007 fourth-round pick out of Syracuse, Jackson was suspended for four games in 2009 for the same issues that got him the year-long suspension last year. He has 48 career starts, all with the Bucs, and the only games he missed were due to the aforementioned suspensions.
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