It’s no secret that the Redskins and Bears will pursue Vincent Jackson vigorously when free agency opens. We’ve discussed Washington’s interest here and Chicago’s in this space. Buffalo and Tampa Bay have also been floated as possible Jackson destinations.
Kevin Acee of the Union-Tribune San Diego takes it a step further in a Sunday night report, confirming Chicago and Washington are expected to be Jackson’s two most aggressive pursuers and that the Redskins “will do almost whatever it takes” to land this year’s top free agent wideout.
The Redskins played it conservatively in 2011 free agency, saving cap space and gearing up for a monster run in 2012. They’ve got their franchise quarterback, and are now intent on surrounding him with an improved supporting cast.
Don’t forget that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has been a “big fan” of Jackson’s dating all the way back to the 2005 draft. Shanahan was “not happy” when the then-division rival Chargers drafted Jackson five spots after Shanahan’s Broncos selected the late Darrent Williams.
Per Acee, the Chargers “seemingly” are resigned to the fact that Jackson will be playing football outside of San Diego in 2012. They may offer as much as $11 million per year, but Jackson is expected to be a Redskin if Washington proposes a contract worth in excess of $12 million. And that possibility, per Acee, “has been floated by knowledgeable people.”
Jackson is absolutely the top wideout available on the 2012 market, and it’s not close. Look for him to emerge from free agency as the NFL’s second highest paid receiver, behind Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald.