In the end, Vincent Jackson felt wanted by his new team, something his former team just couldn’t match.
Armed with the most salary-cap space in the league, the Buccaneers targeted Jackson at the onset of free agency. That strategy forced other teams to peel away in their pursuit of Jackson, believing he would ultimately end up in Tampa, and resulted in a five-year contract worth nearly $56 million, with $26 million guaranteed.
If the Chargers wanted Jackson, it appears they had their chance. Jackson told NFL Network Wednesday the Chargers made a late push, but it wasn’t enough.
“They were there at the end,” Jackson said. “We pretty much told them exactly what was going on, what was on the table. They had a choice to make. And, obviously, I think Tampa was so aggressive and made it known so early in this game (with) a 4 p.m. ET hit how serious they were about me. San Diego, I don’t think, could match that.”
Given this was Jackson’s first shot at free agency, the Chargers likely faced stiff odds against his desire to make a choice. But knowing what they wanted — and don’t forget those deep pockets — paid off for the Bucs.
“It was nice to have an opportunity to pick a team that really wanted me there, and is in the process of doing some big things,” Jackson added. “ I couldn’t be happier to be here in Tampa.”
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