Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Jaydon Mickens faces a felony charge after being arrested amid a traffic stop when police discovered a hidden gun in his vehicle on March 5 in Los Angeles.
Mickens, 26, got released from police custody with a $35,000 bail according to Pewter Report, which originally broke the story. The Los Angeles native has a court date on July 8 in Los Angeles. A conviction in California for carrying a firearm, if loaded, when not the registered firearm owner carries “a sentence of 16 months, two or three years in state prison” according to California law firm Wallin and Klarich.
“We are aware of the issue regarding Jaydon that occurred in Los Angeles last week,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said in a team statement per Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times. “He reached out to let us know about the situation soon after it happened and we have been in contact with the league office to ensure they were aware. We will continue to monitor the situation but will have no further comment at this time.”
Mickens’ Role With the Bucs
Mickens split time between the active roster and practice squad in 2020. That included getting cut in December 2020 and then added to the practice squad and elevated to the active roster again in time for the playoffs.
He played in all four of the Bucs’ postseason games as the primary kick and punt returner. His 43-yard kick-off return in the NFC Championship game helped the Bucs finish off the Green Bay Packers 28-23 and advance to the Super Bowl. He averaged 22.2 yards on 10 kick-off returns and 7.8 yards on five punt returns.
In the regular season, Mickens returned kicks for an average of 24.2 yards among his 14 returns. The fourth-year player from Washington also averaged 6.1 yards per punt return and took 12 fair catches last season.
On offense, Mickens caught seven passes for 58 yards in 10 games played. He played on 75 offensive snaps per Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper.
Journey to the Bay
Mickens made a few big plays in his first full NFL season in 2017 with Jacksonville. He caught six passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned a punt for a touchdown and averaged 10.25 yards per punt return.
Things regressed for Mickens in 2018 with an ankle injury in Week 6. He only returned kicks and punts that season — averaging 24.8 yards per kick return and 4.9 yards per punt return.
The Jaguars and, then the Carolina Panthers, released Mickens in 2019 before joining the Bucs. His career started in Oakland, undrafted, in 2016 where he made the practice squad but never the 53-man roster.
Mickens had a strong college career despite teams passing on him. He finished second all-time in receptions, 203, at Washington and fifth all-time in receiving yards for the Huskies. He caught 12 career touchdowns.
After winning the Super Bowl, Mickens shared his story with 950 KJR about going from being cut in Jacksonville to Super Bowl champion.
The Bucs have Mickens under contract in 2021 for $920,000 per Pewter Report. With the Bucs monitoring his status, it remains to be seen how the team will assess the need for another kick and punt returner in free agency and the draft if necessary.
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