No Franchise Tag For Chargers Vincent Jackson, Mistake?

Vincent JacksonI personally think this is one of the smartest decisions the Chargers have made since I became a Fan over 40 years ago… Trust me, I’ve been one of the biggest critics of their decisions; from not working something out with Junior Seau and Rodney Harrison to not keeping Drew Brees. Although I have come to love the play and attitude of Phillip Rivers, I still feel Brees is a much better quarterback that will sit aside Fouts, Marino and Elway, but, in my eyes, Rivers is still under review. But that is another conversation for a different day.

Vincent Jackson has been labeled a “Number One” Receiver and some list him as one of the Top 5 in the league. The Franchise Tag forces a team to pay the player for 1 year equivalent to his peers. A clip from quoted these numbers;

“The use of the franchise tag in 2011 resulted in a one-year tender of $11.424 million. Under the CBA, the franchise player receives either the franchise tender for his position or 120 percent of his pay from the prior year, whichever is greater.

For Jackson, 120 percent of $11.424 million ends up being more than $4 million greater than the franchise tender of $9.4 million. And so in lieu of paying Jackson $13.7 million this year and, if tagged once more, $19.74 million in 2013, the Chargers opted instead to let the market determine his value.”

That is nearly $14 million for Jackson who, in my opinion, is not a top 10 receiver based on last years stats.

Statistics can be found at which ranks receivers primarily by total yards first, and Jackson is 16th in total yards.
Calvin Johnson is the number one receiver in total yards, and if you watched NFL football at all for the season of 2011-2012 you would know he was the “go-to” guy for The Detroit Lions, also known as “Megatron”. I am certain that when teams faced the Lions they “planned and schemed” for Megatron. So, let’s not pretend that is why Jackson’s numbers slipped most weeks, because he was defended against.

Let’s all remember the New England Patriots used the Franchise tag on Wes Welker this year, which was a smart choice. The San Diego Chargers not using it, also a smart choice.

Now we begin looking at the rest of his stats;

Jackson played in all 16 games as did Megatron, catching approximately 4 passes a game, only one catch per quarter is earning his pay check at what would’ve been $856,250 per game or $214K per catch. Sure they “Play” every down, but just look at the numbers where he is paid to catch the ball. Jackson had 6 games in which he caught 4 or more passes. So, 10 games he didn’t earn his check. Compared to Megatron having 14 games with 4 or more catches.

Don’t like that comparison? Welker who was franchised only had 2 games that had less than 4 catches, Victor Cruz, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Smith only had 5 games each with less than 4 catches in a game, and the other top ten receivers, Jordy Nelson, Brandon Marshall, Mike Wallace all had 5 or less games with only 3 catches or less in a game. Only Roddy White was in the top 10 receivers corps according to that had more and he had 6 games in which he only had 3 catches or less. Again, Jackson only had 6 games with more than 3 catches.

It isn’t even close to a comparison to the best receivers in the game. Two of the top 10 receivers were actually tight ends and they had one and none with less than 3 catches. You can go down to the 21st receiver on the list and I only chose him because of his Teams quarterback performance he had to deal with and that was Percy Harvin who also only had 5 games with less than 4 catches per game.

Yes, by the time you get to the 21st receiver on the list they are under a thousand yards for the season, but at least he’s going out every game catching 4 or more balls every game regardless of who the Vikings had for a QB.

Many Football fans, maybe even you, have played Fantasy Football. When rating a Wide Receivers game scoring ten fantasy points is a good day on the job. So, he must have 50 receiving yards and 1+ touchdown or 100+ yards receiving to be successful. So by that statistic he had 4 games with 10 fantasy points or more. All the receivers listed in the top 15 ahead of Jackson all had 8 or more fantasy days with 10+ points, more than double than Jackson’s output
Okay so here’s the BIG stat everyone keeps talking about, Jackson averaged 18.4 yards per catch. How can you replace that, right? He wasn’t even top 5 if you take any receiver with 30 or more catches during the season and he was second on the team to Malcom Floyds 19.9 yards per catch.

So, with all that being said the reason fans want to keep Jackson is because he wins, right?

Wrong! He only had 2 productive games when the chargers won this year. In 2010 he only played in 5 games and The Bolts won more games.

In 2009 He had 6 games with 100 yards or more and The Bolts went to playoffs that year, but he was second to their tight end Antonio Gates that year. I suppose 2009 is what everyone remembers and hopes we get back to that, but I suppose proof is in the pudding. Maybe the Vikings, as they did in 2010 will go after Jackson again, but can you see that offer to Jackson? Harvin who is in a 5 year contract and going to make under 1 million in 2012 was statistically better than Jackson this year and Jackson will probably want 10 million + per year.

Only five Wide Receivers are set to make more than 9 million per year. My question, what would you pay to have Jackson on your team?


  1. Megatron is Staffords biggest WR weapon. That is why he has the numbers he has.
    Rivers had 3 pretty good receivers to share the Jacksons overall numbers are lower, but his YPC is higher….he is a true downfield threat and #1 receiver.
    Same with Larry Fitzgerald…he is the receiving corps for AZ…so he has more thrown his way.

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