DeSean Jackson on why he joined Raiders, what his role will be

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Even at the age of 34, Desean Jackson can still fly. Perhaps not quite like he once did, but he’s still got enough talent and speed that plenty of NFL teams were interested in him when the Rams released him last week.

The moment he was released, the Raiders were finding out about the horrific crash Henry Ruggs III was involved in that led to the death of a young woman. With the grim details of the accident and the likelihood that Ruggs will be facing prison time, the team didn’t waste time before releasing him.

With Ruggs’s exit, and Jackson’s sudden availability, it looked like a perfect fit for him.

“Unfortunate situation with Ruggs,” said Jackson. “I’m kind of just, not saying filling that role, but just being that spark, what I’ve been able to do my whole career, you know deep threat, verticle threat, and having the defense have to account for that. If it’s being a decoy, opening it up for other guys, Waller, Hunter, whatever it is I need to do to provide a spark, that’s what I’m here for.”

Joining a contender was a factor for Jackson. As was coming to a team in a warm weather city. But he also has liked what he’s seen from receivers like who have played with Derek Carr.

Nelson Agholor was a good friend of mine, I played with him in Philly, so when he left Philly, I was able to see what he came here and did and had a lot of success,” Jackson said. Agholor had a career resurgence with the Raiders last season, earning a lucrative deal with the Patriots this offseason.

“So, just seeing that vertical threat in this offense and having that playmaking ability for myself and obviously having a quarterback that can get the ball down the field is huge. There were other options out there, but I was very confident in the situation that he was able to get the ball down the field.”

Jackson is talking like he thinks he will be on the field Sunday when the Raiders take on the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. And with the Raiders heading into the home stretch of the season, his new quarterback is hoping for a quick acclimation.

“We’re almost to the halfway point of this 30-game season or whatever it is,” said Derek Carr. “But you look at it and you say with a guy like that, with his understanding of coverage, I don’t have to go out there and teach him anything. He already knows what I’m thinking. He’s played with so many great quarterbacks and he’s one of, if not the best, deep threats that’s ever played. He knows where to be in coverages and how to set them up and it’s easier to work with someone that’s played a lot of football that’s for sure.”

It was clear the Raiders were sorely missing a deep threat in their offense in their loss to the Giants last week. That’s where Jackson comes in. Filling that role was attractive for both sides.