Veteran wide receiver Vincent Jackson will not be retiring after a disappointing, injury shortened 2016 campaign. Quite the opposite in fact. The soon-to-be free agent is eager to play again in 2017, per Adam Caplan of ESPN.
Veteran WR Vincent Jackson is not retiring, source said. He dealt with an MCL sprain last season. His contract is up.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 3, 2017
One of the top free agency targets back in 2012 after some huge seasons with the San Diego Chargers, Jackson was highly effective his first two seasons in Tampa Bay. Then his production dropped a tad in 2014, though he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth straight season.
Then in 2015 and 2016 Jackson missed 17 combined games due to injury. This past season he played in just five games, and teams were under the impression that the 34-year-old receiver had torn an ACL. Thankfully this was not the case as it was ultimately an MCL injury that kept him out of action, which comes with less recovery time.
The Buccaneers haven’t ruled bringing Jackson back to Tampa Bay, but it’s clear he won’t be the primary target of Jameis Winston going forward. Mike Evans is the clear No. 1 in Tampa Bay these days, and his rapport with Winston is tremendous.
There are more than a few NFL teams in need of some instant production at the receiver position, even if it’s a short-term solution. It will be interesting to see what kind of interest Jackson garners around the league.