Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead Monday morning in Florida. He was 38.
“My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “Mr. Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else. Football aside, he touched countless lives through his Jackson In Action 83 Foundation.
“We shared a passion for supporting military families, and three years ago, Jackson was even made an honorary deputy by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to recognize his dedication to the community. He will be sorely missed by not only football fans across the country, but also the people here in Hillsborough County who reaped the benefits of his generous contributions.”
According to the sheriff’s office, Jackson was discovered at approximately 11:30 a.m. ET at the Homewood Suites in Brandon, Florida, by a housekeeper. He had checked into the hotel, which is located a few miles outside of his home residence of South Tampa, on Jan. 11. On Feb. 10 his family reported him missing and a formal report was filed the next day. Jackson was located at the hotel on Feb. 12, and the missing person case was canceled.
There were no apparent signs of trauma. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office Sheriff’s Office is determining the cause of death and the sheriff’s office has an open investigation. He leaves behind a wife and four children.
Jackson last played in the NFL in 2016, capping off 12 years split between the Chargers and Buccaneers. In 155 career games, 137 of which he started, he had 540 receptions for 9,080 yards and 57 touchdowns. The last five years of his career were spent in Tampa Bay where ranks fourth in the club’s record books for receiving yards (4,326) and 10th for receptions with 268. Drafted by the Chargers in the second round (61st overall) in 2005 out of Northern Colorado, he is 10th in receiving yards (4,754) and tied for eighth in Chargers’ franchise history for touchdown receptions with Anthony Miller (37).
A three-time Pro Bowler, Jackson was the Buccaneers’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for four consecutive seasons (2013-16). His Jackson in Action 83 Foundation was dedicated to assisting military families and focusing on the educational, emotional, and physical health of children.
On Monday, the NFL community and the sports world took to Twitter to react to his passing.
Vincent Jackson was a personal friend. My wife and I are as shocked and saddened as everyone else. We are so devastated that our friend is gone. We loved you VJ…rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/ByeZ8EKR1w
— Charley Belcher FOX (@CharleyBelcher) February 15, 2021
So sad to hear about the passing of Vincent Jackson. Such a great competitor.
— Chad Greenway (@chadgreenway52) February 15, 2021
Tremendous and tragic loss for the Tampa Bay community. One of the classiest professionals I’ve ever met. Prayers 🙏🏻 for Vincent Jackson’s family. He leaves behind a wife, four children and an incredible legacy. Vincent was just 38 #RIP pic.twitter.com/Tm6FPoyf6s
— Kevin ODonnell Fox13 (@ODonnellFox13) February 15, 2021
Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Vincent Jackson, former UNC Football standout and San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers star. https://t.co/KffI6rwloH
— Univ. of Northern Colorado (@UNC_Colorado) February 15, 2021
Man… just got home out of the blizzard. Vincent Jackson passed away??
He was a damn good football player.. I’m absolutely bummed for everybody involved. Gone way too soon. Rest easy boss man.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 15, 2021