Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jackson signs with Bucs; Chargers interested in Meachem and Robinson

Wide receiver Vincent Jackson can now join former San Diego Chargers Drew Brees, Darren Sproles, Michael Turner, and Ron Rivera in the NFC South. Jackson, the Chargers' #1 wide receiver since the 2008 season, signed a 5-year, $55.55 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today. The deal guarantees him $26 million in the first two years and $36 million in the first three seasons.

Jackson caught 201 passes for 3,619 yards and 28 touchdowns over the last four years. He accomplished that despite missing 11 games during the 2010 season.

With Jackson's departure, U-T San Diego reports the Chargers are interested in the New Orleans Saints' Robert Meachem and the Dallas Cowboys' Laurent Robinson.

Meachem caught 40 passes for 620 yards and six touchdowns last season. There are some who believe he is ready to break out as a #1 receiver for another team after often being the third or fourth option in New Orleans. The Chargers just missed out on selecting Meachem in the first round of the 2007 draft, as he was grabbed by the Saints with the 27th overall pick. San Diego ended up with wide receiver Buster Davis at selection #30.

Robinson was in San Diego's training camp last year, only to be released because the Chargers favored Bryan Walters. The diss didn't scar Robinson, though, as he signed with the Dallas Cowboys and proved the Chargers wrong by catching 54 passes for 858 yards and 11 touchdowns in just 14 games last year. (Another shrewd decision by San Diego head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith, huh?).

My take: I like both Meachem and Robinson, but I think Smith should also be looking at New York Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham. My feeling is any of the three would help soothe the wound that resulted in Jackson's departure, and none of them should cost as much as it would have to retain Jackson. Adding Meachem, Robinson, or Manningham shouldn't prevent Smith from signing a much-needed pass-rusher or an offensive lineman.

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