2012 NFL Free Agents: Vincent Jackson Signs with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Louis HamweyAnalyst IIIMarch 13, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 16:  Wide receiver Vincent Jackson #83 of the San Diego Chargers scores a touchdown on an 11-yard pass in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Qualcomm Stadium on December 16, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made their first big move of free agency by signing two-time pro bowler Vincent Jackson.

Yahoo Sports reports that the deal for the former San Diego Charger is worth $55.55 million over five years, with $26 million guaranteed.

Jackson was widely regarded as the most prized receiver on this year’s market and was believed to have favored staying with the Chargers. However, the Bolts were willing to test the market and see if they would not be able to get him at a fair price.

It would prove a mistake for the team as he has already signed less than 12 hours after free agency opened.

Charger’s GM A.J. Smith is known for taking a hard line stance when it comes to player contracts and has with Jackson before. Jackson held out at the start of the 2010 season, missing more than half the season in the process.

Tampa Bay will be happy to see their first signing in a position they desperately need. The Bucs were a mid-level passing team and need a deep threat for quarterback Josh Freeman to target. Jackson gives them that edge with a 6’5” frame that is use to going up and getting the ball.

Tampa Bay comes out as the clear winners in this deal as San Diego will need to find someone to replace their number one wideout to prevent Philip Rivers from having another poor season.

Follow me on Twitter: @thecriterionman