Vincent Jackson, who at his peak was one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, has been found dead at the age of 38.
The Hillsborough county sheriff’s office said Jackson’s body was discovered at a hotel in Brandon, Florida, on Monday morning. There were no signs of trauma and the cause of death is being investigated.
According to hotel staff Jackson, who lived locally, had checked into the hotel on 11 February. His family had reported him missing the day before but police found him safe at the hotel on Friday and the case was closed after they had checked on his well being.
His family have been notified.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by news of Vincent Jackson’s sudden passing,” the Chargers, now based in Los Angeles, said in a statement. “Vincent was a fan favorite not only for his Pro Bowl play on the field, but for the impact he made on the community off of it.
“The work he has done on behalf of military families through his foundation in the years since his retirement has been an inspiration to all of us. We simply cannot believe he’s gone, and our hearts go out to his wife, Lindsey, their children his parents, former teammates and everyone whose lives were touched by having known Vincent.”
gone too soon 💙 pic.twitter.com/lQEtPjNQ4w
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) February 15, 2021
The 6ft 5in Jackson played college football at Northern Colorado – where he also starred on the basketball team – before being selected by the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the 2005 draft. Injuries affected his early career before he hit his stride in San Diego, where he recorded three 1,000 yard receiving seasons. In 2012, he signed a five-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and enjoyed a successful career in Florida, recording another three 1,000 yard receiving seasons. In his first season with the Bucs, he set a franchise record for receiving yards in a single game, going for 216 yards against the New Orleans Saints.
He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2009, 2011 and 2012 before announcing his retirement in 2018.
And on the field, what made Vincent Jackson so special was he was a vertical receiver that a QB could trust to always make a play in a contested catch situation. We so it saw often with him and Philip Rivers. pic.twitter.com/H1aAawIpmC
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 15, 2021
“I’ve always had a strong work ethic and that proved to be my reliable foundation,” he said of his football career in 2018. “No matter the circumstance, good old fashioned effort carried me through.”
Jackson was a strong student in high school, and returned to college to earn a degree in business management while with the Bucs. He ran a real estate and development company after retirement, and was also involved in military charities.
“I come from a military background,” he said in 2018. “Both my parents served, my dad for 21 years in the US Army. It is a labor of love and an effort that is near and dear to my heart. I grew up with the challenges and experiences that military families go through, so I want to support these amazing men, women and families any way I can.”
Jackson was married with three children.