Bears and Bills Interested in Vincent Jackson?
Without placing the franchise tag on wide receiver Vincent Jackson, the San Diego Chargers only have until March 13th to reach a deal with him before he becomes a free agent. Jackson is likely to hit free agency since he wasn’t tagged, and because of that, both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills are already reportedly interested in pursuing him.
Evan Silva of ProFootballTalk.com cites both Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune and John Clayton of ESPN as believing that the Bears will make a play for Jackson. Clayton says the Bears will “make a big run” for him.
It would be surprising if the Bears didn’t at least try to sign Jackson, who is probably second only to Marques Colston as the best receivers who haven’t been re-signed yet. Jackson possesses an incredible ability of both size and speed–he’s 6-foot-5–and will more times than not beat a defender one-on-one deep down the field. And in a division that features the Green Bay Packers plethora of receivers and the Detroit Lions Calvin Johnson, the Bears need a true No. 1 receiver, and Jackson could be their guy.
But the Bears won’t go without competition. Silva also reports that the Bills will possibly try to sign Jackson as well. He refers to Kevin Acee of the Union-Tribune in San Diego saying “it is believed” the Bills will make a move for Jackson despite re-signing Stevie Johnson to a five-year, $36.25 million deal, especially since the team has the salary cap space to do so.
Other than Johnson, the Bills really only have David Nelson at the receiver position. Nelson does show promise to be a solid player, but he has only played two seasons so far and he is no Vincent Jackson. If the Bills are able to get Jackson though, Nelson could have a breakout season in the slot position while learning from a Pro-Bowl veteran. That trio of playmakers would also give quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick–who signed a six-year, $59 million extension in the middle of last season–the chance to become one of the league’s top quarterbacks.
Both the Bears and the Bills would make logical, realistic teams for Jackson to play for, but there will undoubtedly be other teams that will join the pursuit for him. The two-time Pro Bowl receiver will command the attention of opposing defensive coordinator’s game plans wherever he lands.