March 13, 2012: Michael Gelken of the San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting the Saints have signed Robert Meachem to a 4 year deal worth $25.9 million dollars with $14 million dollars guaranteed.
This is the biggest of all for San Diego. The Chargers have had multiple opportunities to keep Vincent Jackson long term, but have chose to let him hold out one season and give him the franchise tag the next. There isn't a great relationship between Jackson and Smith. Their relationship may just end a lot like Tomlinson and Smith's, with a lot of bad blood.
Vincent Jackson is a top ten free agent this year and with Dwyane Bowe, Desean Jackson, Marques Colston, and Steve Johnson being re-signed, the market for Jackson just keeps getting bigger. Reports have said that up to eight teams are interested in Jackson. One of them are the Redskins who recently traded with the Rams for the number two pick, or RG3. Now that they have their quarterback of the future, they need someone who he can throw to. Why not a 6'5'' receiver with incredible jumping ability and athleticism? Look for the Redskins to make a big play for VJ.
UPDATE March 13, 2012: Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the Buccaneers have signed Vincent Jackson to a 5 year, $55.55 million dollar contract with $26 million dollars guaranteed.
Bottom line is that Jackson will be offered more somewhere other than San Diego. Unless he pulls a Malcom Floyd and turns down money to return with the Chargers, Vincent Jackson will be playing in a different jersey next season.
So now the Chargers need to look for replacements. They're expected to draft a speedy receiver this year to replace Patrick Crayton in both special teams and the receiver rotation. Malcom Floyd could jump up to the number one receiver spot and the Chargers could try to add someone like Mario Manningham, Reggie Wayne, or Pierre Garcon.
There is no way that the Chargers lose Vincent Jackson AND do not sign a receiver to fill his void. Either Jackson will return or a new receiver will be brought in.