Vincent Jackson, left, and Pierre Garcon each got big deals on the first… (Denis Poroy / Associated…)
Vincent Jackson signed a reported five-year, $55.6-million contract Tuesday with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Pierre Garcon agreed to a five-year, $42.5-million deal with the Washington Redskins on the same day to help start the NFL's free agency period with a bang.
Both teams invested a lot of money looking to improve their receiving corps. But which team's deal made more sense?
Jackson, who has spent all seven years of his pro career with the San Diego Chargers, appears to give Tampa Bay the deep threat it has needed. He has 36 catches of 25-plus yards during the last four season and has averaged 18 yards per reception during that span.
He made the Pro Bowl in 2009 with a career-high 1,167 yards and nine touchdowns. After playing only five games in 2010 due to an extended holdout, a suspension and injury, Jackson returned to form last season with 1,106 yards and nine touchdowns.
But can he help quarterback Josh Freeman recover from a second-year slump that saw him throw 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions following a 25-touchdown, six-interception showing in his first season as a starter? The Buccaneers seem to think so. They will pay Jackson $36 million in guaranteed payouts the first three years of the deal, including $26 million the first two years, according to agent Jonathan Feinsod.
Garcon has played for the Indianapolis Colts all four of his NFL seasons. He posted a career-high 947 receiving yards and tied his career best with six touchdowns in 2011. He will get $20.5 million guaranteed, including an $11-million signing bonus, from Washington.
The Redskins traded up last week for the No. 2 spot in April's draft, presumably to pick Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. And now they appear to be looking for plenty of targets for the Heisman Trophy winner. In addition to Garcon, Washington also signed former San Francisco 49er Josh Morgan and are said to be pursuing Eddie Royal, who has played four seasons with the Denver Broncos.
So who made the better deal -- the Buccaneers for Jackson or the Redskins for Garcon? Vote in the poll, then leave a comment explaining why you voted the way you did.