Jay Posner, Tom Krasovic
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson, a Pro Bowl player with the Chargers and Buccaneers, was found dead in Florida hotel room on Monday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.
Jackson was 38. He played for the Chargers from 2005-11 and for Tampa Bay from 2012-16.
The Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that Jackson was reported as missing by his family last Wednesday, then located two days later at a Homewood Suites in Brandon, Fla., where hotel staff said he checked in Jan. 11. After speaking with Jackson and assessing his well-being, officers canceled the missing persons case.
His body was discovered by a housekeeper at the hotel at approximately 11:30 a.m. EST on Monday.
There were no apparent signs of trauma, the statement said, and the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of death.
“My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “Mr. Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else. Football aside, he touched countless lives through his Jackson In Action 83 Foundation. We shared a passion for supporting military families, and three years ago, Jackson was even made an honorary deputy by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to recognize his dedication to the community. He will be sorely missed by not only football fans across the country, but also the people here in Hillsborough County who reaped the benefits of his generous contributions.”
Jackson began his Chargers career in 2005 as a second-round pick out of Northern Colorado. He began to see regular playing time the next year, when he scored six touchdowns for a team that went 14-2. He had the first of his six 1,000-yard seasons in 2008 and made the Pro Bowl in 2009 and 2011 before signing with Tampa Bay. He led the league in 2012 with a per-catch average of 19.2 yards and again was selected for the Pro Bowl.
He finished his career with 540 catches for 9,080 yards (16.8 average) and 57 touchdowns.
James Lofton, who was Jackson’s position coach in 2006-07 with the Chargers, said he was “devastated. … My prayers go out to his wife Lindsey and their children. Vincent was a talent on the football field, tough and smart. He was well respected in the locker room. Again I just hate the situation for his family. Loved coaching him and being his friend following his retirement.”
Said former Chargers fullback Jacob Hester: “Honestly, I’ll always appreciate what he did for me when I first got to San Diego. He was so engaging with me and found common ground because he spent time in Louisiana at Fort Polk. The guy always had a smile on his face and came to work with a great attitude every day. He did as many great things off the field as he did on the field — which, as everyone knows, was a lot.”
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