Bears, Redskins Front-Runners For Vincent Jackson?
With the generally accepted likelihood that the San Diego Chargers and wide receiver Vincent Jackson will part ways this offseason, there has been much speculation as to where Jackson–arguably the best receiver to be available in free agency–will end up.
Though the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins were reported to be ready to pursue Jackson, they now seem more poised than ever to land him.
Last week, I wrote how John Clayton of ESPN said the Bears will “make a big run” for Jackson, and how they could use a legitimate receiving threat to compete against the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, their NFC North rivals. That still is the case, but the Bears could face very stiff competition from the Redskins.
According to Kevin Acee of the Union-Tribune San Diego via ProFootballTalk.com, the Redskins “will do almost whatever it takes” to get Jackson. They have the kind of salary cap space to beat any offer from other teams. Plus landing Jackson when free agency begins on Tuesday will be a perfect way to once again grab headlines, since their news about trading up to get Robert Griffin III–which was supposed to be saved for Monday–leaked early Friday night.
Speaking of Griffin, what better way of easing in a passing-running hybrid quarterback to the NFL than to have a Pro Bowl caliber veteran wideout at his disposable? That formula worked for Cam Newton and Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers in 2011, where Newton won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award and Smith had his best season in three years. It’s possible that Griffin and Jackson could enjoy that same success in 2012.
However, even the idea of that begins if the Redskins sign Jackson. Even though they may appear as the true front-runners for him, their pursuit for him won’t go uncontested. Teams other than the Bears will be trying to win him as well. Regardless of where Jackson goes, that offense will instantly improve by garnering a top-five receiver.