Vincent Jackson: Just Say No
I’m against signing Vincent Jackson, to see an argument for signing VJ, check out my friends at DC Sports Chat.
At first glance Vincent Jackson appears to be everything I’ve wanted in a wide receiver since the Redskins parted ways with Art Monk in 1994. He’s big…no he’s huge, standing 6’5” and weighing 230+ lbs. He’s a great possession receiver (90% of his receptions resulted in 1st downs last season) but he can also stretch the field (he’s averaged 17.5 yards per reception for his career). What rookie QB, or veteran for that matter, wouldn’t want that kind of frame to lean on in the red zone? That’s the good stuff, now we need to get over the his physical attributes and break down the entire package. Simply put, the signing of Vincent Jackson may look good from afar, but it’s far from good.
First off, we have to address Jackson’s prior off-field transgressions, namely his 2 DWI’s. That’s not one…but 2 Utah, 2! The 2 DWI’s landed Jackson in the NFL’s substance abuse program and he was suspended for the first 3 games of the 2010 NFL season. So, like Fred Davis and Trent Williams, Jackson faces a 1 year suspension for further violations. Can you imagine 3 of your best players on offense (25% of your offense) being a couple of beers or a bong hit away from being suspended for the entire season?
Next, we have to look at Jackson’s lack of qualifying as what I would call an “elite” receiver. VJ’s never caught more than 68 passes in a season and has caught 60+ balls just twice in his 7 NFL seasons. Jabar Gaffney has 55 more receptions than Jackson over those 7 seasons. Jackson has 37 career receiving TD’s, not a large amount over 7 seasons, in fact it’s less than the likes of Braylon Edwards, Lee Evans and Roy Williams over the same time period.
Finally, lets look at VJ’s history of disappearing in games. Last season Jackson had 10 games when he had 3 or fewer receptions and 6 games of 2 or fewer receptions. As the guys at Ball Hogs Radio pointed out, that’s not the stat line of an ‘elite’ receiver. It takes 4 seasons for Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald to accumulate that many games of 3 or fewer catches. You also have to consider that Phillip Rivers threw a career-high 582 times last season, or 37 times a game…but VJ is catching just 3 balls or less?!
Simply put, Vincent Jackson is not an elite wide receiver and has way too much baggage to be paid like one. However, some team is going to do it…I just hope it’s not the Redskins.
Cheers and Hail