A few big-name wide receivers are scheduled to be free agents this offseason, including Wes Welker, DeSean Jackson, and Reggie Wayne. And because of that, another fella will likely be hitting the market when the free-agent window opens on March 13: San Diego Chargers vet Vincent Jackson.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that even though "there is expected to be a line of teams" who want to sign Jackson, the team "will almost certainly allow Jackson to hit the free agent market next month."
The Chargers will be sure to let Jackson's agent know that they want to be bidders, of course, but the team won't be trying to sign him to a deal before then. He was asking for $10 million annually more than a year ago, the paper notes, and his price hasn't likely gone down.
The 29-year-old Jackson has been with the Chargers since the team drafted him in 2005 out in the second round out of Northern Colorado. He had 1,106 receiving yards and nine touchdowns this past season.
So... do we make a play for him? It seems he was all set and ready to come to Minnesota during the 2010-11 season, but the Chargers didn't want to let him jump ship (and we ended up with Randy Moss). Might he have that same desire to come to Minnesota, and will the Vikings still be willing to pony up the cash?
Personally, I think he's the real deal and absolutely good for a 5-year contract. Of the other high profile receivers hitting the market, the only two I see actually leaving their teams are Marques Colston and Desean Jackson. Jackson is a sick athlete, but a malcontent. Colston is absolutely worth going after if New Orleans can't pay him. But I think Vincent Jackson is the best of the lot.