Vincent Jackson is now free to move about the country. Or he will be as soon as the NFL's free-agency period starts on March 13.
Unlike a year ago, the San Diego Chargers decided not to use the franchise tag on their top wide receiver. Such a move would have counted more than $13 million against the salary cap, a number General Manager A.J. Smith decided the team just couldn't afford this year.
Still, Smith said the Chargers are hoping to retain the services of the man who led the team in receiving yards in three of the last four seasons and in touchdown receptions in two of the last three seasons. "But," Smith acknowledges, "other teams now will enter the picture.”
Jackson could command $10 million or more per season, but teams like the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem to have the cap space and the need at wide receiver to pursue such a signing. The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings have also been mentioned as potential suitors, and others will probably materialize as well.