As most Raider fans are quite aware, this year's wide receiver free agent class is a very strong one. There are quite a few talented players who will be available, including: Santonio Holmes, Steve Smith, James Jones, Santana Moss, Steve Breaston, Sidney Rice, Malcolm Floyd, and possibly Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson, to name just a few. However, there is one wide receiver in particular who has consistently given the Raiders fits with his tough catches and clutch play at receiver. That receiver is Vincent Jackson.
Jackson has haunted the Raiders for three consecutive years. He stands 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 230 lbs. He has been described as "a tree" by Nnamdi Asomugha; Nnamdi says Jackson is one of the toughest he has ever faced.
In just over three seasons as a starter for the San Diego Chargers, Jackson has amassed 212 receptions, 3648 receiving yards, and 28 touchdowns, with a career average of 17.2 yards per catch. Those are very impressive numbers considering the abundance of weapons Philip Rivers has at his disposal, and how Rivers spreads the San Diego offense. If Jackson hadn't missed 12 games in 2010 due to a holdout, these numbers would be significantly higher, and quite possibly San Diego would have been the division champs ahead of Kansas City.
Selected to the Pro Bowl in 2009, and a starter for three consecutive playoff teams (2007-2009), Vincent Jackson emerged as one of the primary receiving targets for Philip Rivers. Rivers recently spoke on a local San Diego talk show, stating his concern about the re-signing of Jackson, and how Jackson is the best receiver he has ever thrown to. He went so far as to say that Jackson is the best receiver he has seen, period. Rivers also cited the loss of Jackson during this past season's campaign as a major reason the Chargers failed to make the playoffs, and that losing Jackson to free agency could be disastrous.
Jackson starred at the University of Northern Colorado, where he was an All-American and rewrote the record books for UNC. Drafted in the second round in the 2005 NFL Draft, Jackson is a terrific route runner with incredible hands, blazing speed, and is a true athletic phenom, with a penchant for making big plays.
Vincent Jackson would be an absolute perfect fit with the Raiders, and would give the added bonus of being a reliable deep threat option. He is the prototypical wide receiver that Al Davis covets and the Raiders desperately need. His size, speed, athleticism, and hands are the epitome of what Al is looking for in a receiver. Don't think for a minute that he is not on Al Davis' radar, as he is the type of receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was supposed to be, but has shown that he is not worthy of being a starting wide receiver in this league.
Signing Jackson would more than make up for the mistake of drafting DHB, and Jackson would certainly be the most productive and legitimate go-to receiver since Tim Brown.
With the contract dispute he was involved in with AJ Smith, Jackson would be hungry to prove AJ wrong, and a hungry and dedicated Vincent Jackson would be a scary weapon to have on our side. And to top it off, it would be especially nice to burn San Diego and sign their most prolific player.
Jackson, at 28, is still on the upside of his career, and with a player's coach like Hue Jackson leading the way, this would be a match made in heaven. The presence of Vincent Jackson on the Raiders would immediately elevate the Raider receiving corps into one of the finest in the league. Along with receivers Louis Murphy, Jacoby Ford, Zach Miller, and a healthy Chaz Schilens, there isn't a secondary in the league that could successfully shut down the Raider passing game.
If Vincent Jackson is available in the free agent market, and AJ Smith does not franchise tag him (and I don't think he will), Al Davis needs to pay whatever it takes to make Jackson a Raider. If it means paying him more than Nnamdi Asomugha, then so be it.
There are some very fine receivers available in the free agent market, with Vincent Jackson and Santonio Holmes being a cut above the rest. And while there is no way the Jets will let Holmes go, AJ Smith's ego will allow Jackson to see the open market. It's inevitable.
Al Davis is going to need to act quickly, as this star is going to shine brightly on the horizon, and will be visible to many teams in need of a dynamic young receiver. That star is a game changing receiver who would become an instant Raider fan favorite, and would be a key member in helping to bring the Raiders back to where they belong: the Superbowl..
This is Spartacus' first guest contribution to TFDS. Let him know your thoughts in the comment box.
I would love to see Campbell throw to Vincent Jackson week after week that would be AWESOME to watch as the Raiders would win the AFC west year after year and a SUPER BOWL or 2 as well .. Lets bring him to Oakland Mr . Davis !!
Good article bro. Jackson would be a dream come true. I would raise the raiders stats on maddened thats for sure
Campbell is good. I guess you missed the second half of the season. People are pretty stupid for expecting him to light it up from day one. He had to learn a new system. It takes a little time. Get off of campbells ass. He is the QB for the Raiders. Embrace him. He is going to do great things.
@Aaronraider13 Campbell did well considering yet another new system and little consistent protection. When we made defenses honest by featuring the run, we looked a lot better. As long as the pash rushers can't pin their ears back and rush down hill then I think we are fine with him as our QB.
@Aaronraider13 He needs the pass protection to have the "greatness" .. and if Al is truly building this team from the outside-in ... unlike ANYONE ELSE in the league almost ... then that means according to the rotation of positions, Oline is next. the last big splash for offensive lineman was a long time ago. Jared Gaither, Clabo, his right hand man Dahl, Logan Mankins ... Kalil ... those are the big dogs hitting FA ... Colledge from GB ... the list goes on and on. this CBA BS needs to get accomplished BEFORE LABOR DAY ... but if it continues this trend, nothing will get done before the draft. thank god there will be one ... keep us somewhat entertained.
My gut feeling says that AJ Smith is going to try to prove a point and make an example out of Jackson. Smith is a complete ASS... The guy is known for his grudges, and he has made no bones about his anger with VJ. He doesn't care what Phillip Rivers thinks, or anyone else for that matter. Smith has one of the biggest egos in sports, and only cares about himself and about being right. He's pathetic, and his warped ideals are going to let Jackson become a free agent..
When Jackson becomes available, and he will, Al Davis has to sign him, first and foremost, above anyone else. He is worth the big contract. The Raiders were 6th in the league in offense without a true go to wide receiver. Adding VJ would be electrifying, and the Raiders would not only get a guy with incredible hands, but add a guy who would be their legitimate deep threat as well. Plus, with Jackson being as dangerous as he is, other receivers like Louis Murphey and Jacoby Ford will be given more space to make plays, as the secondary will have to be consistently checking Jackson to prevent the big play. It would be a huge win-win for the Raiders and Jackson, and VJ, in my opinion, would put the Raiders into the upper tier of the NFL, and make them an offensive force that every defense in the league would fear...
@blacksilver76 uhh ... actually... yes?
when he has a pocket to step into, he will be able to deliver that ball ontime downfield. I like Santana Moss joining us as well if VJ is not going to be there for us. Him and Campbell were consistent with eachother... and Moss had 93 recpetions last season... first priority though has to be better pass protection, that means overhauling our Oline!! Move Veldheer inside ANYWHERE almost, preferably RT, by signing Jared Gaither and making him our TRUE power blocking, cornerstone LT. That by itself would help TREMEDOUSLY ... then go and drafting a Center or even signing Kalil away from the Panthers ...
Yea, i'd say Campbell can make the throws he needs to to become a top 15 QB in this league. If that came along with running for first downs more often? this kid can do things. 222 yards and 3 TDs on the ground, not bad. He can sure sell a play well can't he? When he learns to make secondarys bite, and that's getting the time in the pocket while the receivers develop their routes downfield, he will become a good QB in this league, MARK MY WORDS if those things happen for him.
Spart: VJ obviously is the better choice... but i forsee SD using their tag on him one more time. there's nothing in his contract that says they can't unlike with Nnamdi ... so... is AJ Smith that into himself? the answer is yes. He wont let one of the priemiere receivers in the league go. sorry Spart... he would be incredible.. but i doubt it very much... besides, Rivers went on a talk show practically PLEADING in public for AJ Smith not to get rid of VJax .. .says he's the best receiver he's ever thrown to ... I don't think AJ wants to piss off his good QB.