34-Year-Old Wide Receiver – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Football Outlook
Throughout his 12-year NFL career, Jackson has only called two places home: San Diego and Tampa Bay. He'll likely need to add another location to that list in order to continue playing. Not only is th...
Vincent Jackson Contract Information:
Signed as a free agent with the Bucs in March of 2012. It's reportedly a five-year deal worth $55.55 million, of which $26 million is guaranteed.
Jackson (knee) does not plan on retiring, ESPN's Adam Caplan reports.
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|Receiving||Rec Distance||Big Rec Games||Rushing||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
|2017 Proj||34||Subscribe now to see our 2017 projections for Vincent Jackson|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs|
|2017 Proj||34||Subscribe now to see our 2017 projections for Vincent Jackson|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Vincent Jackson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
A sprained MCL cost Jackson six games and parts of others last year, but on a per-play basis he was fine. With Jameis Winston, Jackson averaged 16.5 YPC and 8.6 YPT, his best since 2012. Of course, Jackson saw only 63 targets, a big drop even on a prorated basis. Jackson had a disproportionate amount of work in the red zone (more than 20 percent), but scored only three times. At 6-5, 230, and having run a 4.46 40 at the 2005 Combine, Jackson was a rare size/speed freak. But that was 11 years ago, and at 33, he's no longer the big-play threat he was at his peak (no catches for 40-plus yards.) Moreover, Mike Evans (148 targets) is the team's clear No. 1 receiver. But Jackson should be more involved now that he's healthy – beyond him and Evans, the Buccaneers have little receiving depth.
Jackson's efficiency has been on a five-year slide, from an elite 11.8 YPT at his peak while playing with Philip Rivers to a below-par 7.1 YPT (30th) last year in his age-31 season. Now 32, he returns to a Bucs team with a new offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter, a new starting quarterback, Jameis Winston, and a younger, more dynamic receiver in Mike Evans on the opposite side. On the bright side, Koetter should be a huge upgrade as a play caller, and Winston — even as a rookie — could be better than the Josh McCown-Mike Glennon combo the Bucs had last season. Tampa has little depth behind Jackson and Evans, and, given Koetter's pass-heavy tendencies, that assures Jackson a nice target floor. At 6-5, 230, with a 4.46 40 (at the 2005 Combine), Jackson is on the extreme end of the size/speed spectrum, and had he seen big volume at his peak in San Diego, his numbers might have been huge. But Jackson's likely lost a step since then, and he's never been especially quick or shifty. Given his height and bulk, he makes a great red-zone target, but Evans is just as big, so it's likely the two will split opportunities in that area.
Talk about being the only game in town. Once Mike Williams and Doug Martin went down, Jackson was really all the Bucs had. In fact, only Anquan Boldin had a bigger percentage of his team’s targets than Jackson. As you might expect, the situation yielded a lot of opportunities but not much efficiency. Despite finishing tied for seventh in targets, Jackson was 20th in catches and 14th in yards, thanks to his 7.7 YPT (24th). Of course, much of that was due to his below-average signal callers, the ineffective Josh Freeman and rookie Mike Glennon. This year, Jackson should get a lift from the combination of free-agent signee Josh McCown and/or a more developed Glennon, and the offensive coordinator brought in by new head coach Lovie Smith, former Cal coach Jeff Tedford, can’t but be an improvement over last year’s offensive “brain-trust”. At 6-5, 230 and with good speed, Jackson is a weapon both down the field and near the goal line, though at 31 he’s at the stage of his career where receivers typically lose a step. Nonetheless, he’s the team’s clear No. 1 target, and the quality of his opportunities should improve.
Jackson's first season in Tampa Bay could not have gone much better. Despite playing with an average quarterback and for a run-oriented coach, Jackson finished as the league's No. 6 fantasy receiver, averaging a whopping 19.2 YPC (1st) and 9.4 YPT (7th). At 6-5, 230 and with good deep speed, Jackson specializes in the big play with 24 catches of 20-plus (3rd) and six catches of 40 yards or more (T-2nd). Jackson saw 20 red-zone targets (T-6th), pulling in six for scores. Jackson also displayed excellent hands, with only three drops on 147 targets. If you're looking for downside, Jackson turned 30 in January, and teammate Mike Williams is a threat to take red-zone targets – Williams had 18 red-zone looks last year and scored nine times to Jackson's eight.
The NFL’s most efficient receiver over the last four years, Jackson will ply his trade in Tampa Bay this season, with Josh Freeman replacing Philip Rivers as his quarterback. Jackson’s 9.6 YPT (6th) last year actually represented his weakest per-target output in the last four years, thanks to a lower-than-usual 52-percent catch rate. (Jackson’s 18.4 YPC was second among the league’s 32 100-target receivers.) At 6-5, 240, and with good deep speed, Jackson is a matchup problem for virtually any defensive back. He’s not especially shifty, but given his massive frame he doesn’t need to be. In San Diego, Jackson typically ran deeper routes, and while we’d expect him to be deployed similarly in Tampa, there could be an adjustment period with Freeman. In any case, there’s little doubt about the 6-6, 250-pound Freeman’s arm strength, and given Jackson’s massive deal – five years and $55 million (with $26 million guaranteed) – he’ll almost certainly be Freeman’s go-to guy. Third-year man Mike Williams and newly signed tight end Dallas Clark are also in the mix, so it remains to be seen whether Jackson sees significantly more targets than he did with the Chargers.
A protracted holdout and a calf injury limited Jackson to just five games last year, but based on his stellar per-play numbers (17.7 YPC, 10.3 YPT), he was his usual self. At 6-4, 241 and with legitimate deep speed, Jackson is a problem for smaller DBs and slower linebackers. Jackson isn't particularly elusive, but given his big frame and Philip Rivers' accurate arm, he doesn't need to be. While the Chargers’ run-heavy tendencies and Antonio Gates' red-zone prowess limit Jackson's looks from in close, he's still capable in that area of the field and can also do damage from farther out. Jackson agreed to return to the Chargers, signing his one-year franchise tender, so he should be motivated to produce this season, but the emergence of Malcom Floyd as a viable top target is also something to consider.
Perhaps the arbitrary cutoff point of 100- targets makes the other receivers on this list grade better than they should — if we include the 99-target Jackson, everyone gets bumped down one slot. Jackson led the NFL with a whopping 11.8 yards per target — the best mark in the five years we’ve tracked this stat among receivers with 100 or more looks. Of course, Jackson had just 99, and so despite his 17.2-yard-per-catch average (2nd) and absurd 69-percent catch rate for someone who runs that far down the field, he had just 1,167 yards. At 6-4, 241, and with legitimate deep speed, Jackson is matchup problem for defenses as he can run by slower corners and safeties, and can block out virtually any defensive back with his big body. Jackson’s not especially shifty, but given his size and Philip Rivers’ strong and accurate arm, he doesn’t need to be. While Jackson has ideal red-zone size, the presence of elite goal-line option Antonio Gates and Norv Turner’s run-heavy offense limits Jackson’s opportunities for easy scores — only 12 red-zone looks all year and six (four TDs) from inside the 10. Two other concerns: Jackson is likely to face a league-imposed suspension of at least one game for driving with a suspended license last year (Jackson had already been on probation for a DUI in 2006), so there’s a good chance he’ll be forced to miss some time early in the year. Moreover, Jackson was absent from San Diego’s first offseason coaching session in May and is expected to sit out the entire offseason program as he’s dissatisfied with his current contract situation, i.e., there’s some small possibility of a holdout.
Jackson’s breakout really occurred in the 2007-08 postseason when he led the league in receiving yards. While Jackson didn’t see enough targets in the 2008 regular season to duplicate that feat, he certainly did more than enough with the opportunities he received. On a per-target basis, only Steve Smith outgained Jackson’s 10.9 mark, and not by a whole lot. While Jackson snagged a respectable 58 percent of the balls thrown his way, it was his whopping 18.6 yards per catch (1st among 100-target WR) that stands out. And despite seeing just 101 targets, Jackson was in a three-way tie for second with seven catches of 40-plus yards. At 6-4, 241, Jackson is bigger and stronger than virtually any receiver in the league not named Calvin Johnson, and has deep speed, to boot. Naturally, given his bulk, he’s not especially quick, and while his route running is improving, he’ll never be mistaken for Torry Holt. On most teams Jackson’s size would make him the first option in the red zone, but Jackson saw a modest 15 looks from in close (24th) last year, four less than tight end Antonio Gates – and Gates played through a nagging toe injury for much of the season. With Philip Rivers establishing himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and Jackson surpassing Chris Chambers as the team’s top wideout, another productive season is in store. Jackson’s ceiling is limited, however, by Gates’ world-class red-zone talents and coach Norv Turner’s run-first play calling (even with a banged-up LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers were 24th in pass attempts last year at 30 per game).
For all those who bought into the preseason hype and drafted Jackson too high, it probably wasn't much consolation that he led the NFL in postseason receiving yards. The question for 2008 is whether the regular or postseason sample is a more reliable indicator. Jackson had a passable regular season by real football standards, averaging 15.2 yards per catch and 7.8 yards per target. He only caught 51 percent of the balls thrown his way, but he tends to catch the ball farther down the field than possession receivers. In the playoffs, Jackson caught 18 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns, and he and fellow deep-threat Chris Chambers showed that the Chargers were capable of looking down the field. But that happened when Antonio Gates and LaDainian Tomlinson were banged up, so don’t expect it to continue as long as those two are healthy. At 6-5, 241, Jackson has tremendous size and good straight-ahead speed. He doesn't run great routes, and he's not especially quick, but he's strong, physical and willing to go after the ball in traffic. You'd think this would make him an ideal red-zone target, but the Chargers targeted him 16 times inside the 20, and he caught just four of those balls, and only one for a touchdown. There's some potential for growth here, but with run-heavy Norv Turner still at the helm and Chambers and Gates around to split the targets, we think a modest bump on Jackson's regular season totals is a more realistic expectation.
Take a look at what Jackson did over the final four regular season games – 14 catches for 294 yards and three scores – and it’s clear he’s emerging as Philip Rivers’ favorite target among the San Diego wideouts. At 6-4, 241, Jackson is built more like a tight end, but he also has very good straight ahead speed and can beat defenders downfield – he had two catches of 40-yards or more on just 57 targets and averaged nearly 17 yards per catch. Jackson’s size also makes him a dangerous threat in the red zone as he pulled in four of his six targets there for touchdowns a year ago. Jackson’s not especially quick or shifty, and his route running could stand to improve. And as good of a red-zone target as he is, he’s likely to be second fiddle there to Antonio Gates. Not to mention all of the running plays Norv Turner’s going to call for LaDainian Tomlinson.
Jackson could be on the verge of something big in 2006 as he is penciled into the third wide receiver spot, behind Keenan McCardell and Eric Parker. McCardell is past his prime and Parker has never really set the world on fire, so Jackson could move up the ladder if he starts the season off strong. He size and speed have drawn comparisons to Terrel Owens, so he definitely has the tools. This is a big year for the young wide out.
Even though the team is very high on their rookie receiver, it is hard to imagine him cracking the top three at the wideout position in 2005. Jackson is built like a tight end but moves like a wide receiver, and he has a ton of confidence in himself. His size could make him a great red-zone threat, particularly with all of the other options that opposing defenses will need to contend with. At this stage, however, he will probably go undrafted in fantasy leagues throughout the country.