Bears believed to be in play for Vincent Jackson

Bears believed to be in play for Vincent Jackson
Jackson had 1,157 all-purpose yards and nine TDs in 2011.

The franchise tag deadline came and went Monday afternoon with more than eight players, who received the designation today, joining thirteen others, the most (21) in NFL history.

Here’s the complete list of 2012 franchise players:

Team Position Player
49ers S Dashon Goldson
Bears RB Matt Forte
Bengals K Mike Nugent
Broncos K Matt Prater
Browns K Phil Dawson
Buccaneers K Connor Barth
Cardinals DL Calais Campbell
Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe
Colts DE Robert Mathis
Cowboys LB Anthony Spencer
Eagles WR DeSean Jackson
Falcons CB Brent Grimes
Giants P Steve Weatherford
Jaguars K Josh Scobee
Lions DE Cliff Avril
Patriots WR Wes Welker
Raiders S Tyvon Branch
Ravens RB Ray Rice
Redskins TE Fred Davis
Saints QB Drew Brees
Titans S Michael Griffin

As expected, however, many of the big-name receivers who were said to make up a top-tier class of free agent wide-outs either signed new contracts with respective teams or were tagged.

Rarely does an NFL franchise simply allow an upper-level player to walk away if they can help it.

But one player, who is believed to be on the Bears’ free agency wish list, was passed over for the tag due to cap concerns. Chargers’ wide receiver Vincent Jackson is set to hit free agency as one of the most highly coveted players in 2012.

Some reports suggest close to a third of the league could be interested in his services.

The Bears were very interested in Vincent Jackson leading up to the 2005 NFL Draft and have remained high on him since—new GM, sure, but same scouts and coaches. Jackson is considered by most, to be the best receiver in free agency—bar none.

ESPN’s John Clayton had this to say after the deadline came and went with Jackson not receiving the tag: “I think the Bears will make a big run at Vincent Jackson.” Intriguing, no?

So, do I buy it? Yes, I do. The key words there are “big run.” What constitutes big? The bottom line is that whichever team ends up signing Vincent Jackson—the Chargers would still like to, by the way, although they will likely be out bid by most every team—they will have to be prepared to make a very “big run.” He’s sure to become one of the highest paid receivers in the NFL.

Jackson and his agent may be seeking close to $13 million per season . . .

And according to Bears’ Chairman of the Board George McCaskey, for the right guy, money will not be a factor. “The bottom line, and Phil knows this, if there is someone we want—and it makes sense—money is not going to be an issue,” George said.

As of right now, the Bears have the money to make Vincent Jackson a reality. With more than $30 million in cap space, they could make multiple moves in free agency.

The team does want to build through the draft, however, and whispers and rumors about the Halls of Halas had led many to believe that Jerry Angelo’s tendency in recent years to falter from that same philosophy is a big part of what got him fired.

So, for first-time GM Phil Emery, making an enormous move on a player like Jackson is a huge risk.

Vincent Jackson or not, 2012 free agency will be loaded with impact players the Bears could be looking to add to a roster with plenty of needs. If they are dead set on going after a wide receiver, there is more than Vincent Jackson.

Among the other market receivers of note will be Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne, Brandon Lloyd, Pierre Garcon and Mike Wallace (RFA).

Outside of the wide receiver position, players like defensive end Mario Williams, offensive guard Carl Nicks, and cornerback Cortland Finnegan will also be available for the Bears to consider.

That’s a pretty short list of spectacular players. (Could you just imagine Peppers and Williams? Can you say 50+ sack season?!) And for a team with three of its own cornerbacks heading into free agency, you have to consider a guy like Finnegan, don’t you? One might also make the argument that the offensive line is nowhere near close to repaired—hence, Carl Nicks . . . and so on.

Me? I care what you think. So, Bears fans . . . what position do you want the team to target in free agency?

Filed under: Free Agency, Players

Tags: Vincent Jackson


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  • I think $13M is too much to pay for Jackson, plus, I'm not sure the Bears could lure him away from playing in San Diego. I'd like to see the Bears go after another WR in FA, and draft Floyd in the 1st round of the draft. I'd also like to see the Bears address the offensive line in FA, and make a run at Mario Williams. Williams combined with Peppers would be devestating duo, and give teams match-up nightmares.

  • In reply to Aero1964:

    I most definitely have my reservations about VJax and what it will cost to get him. But I'm also undeniably interested in seeing Cutler throw the rock to another receiver the caliber of a Brandon Marshall, and having matured the way he has, too. Mario Williams is a pipe-dream, IMO. And I'll never be against bolstering the offensive line via top-tier free agents.

  • In reply to Adam Oestmann:

    VJax will cost to much, I'd rather see Garcon signed and then draft WR in 1st or 2nd. Floyd probably will be gone by 19 and there are some other pretty good WR in the draft, Hill is really starting to move up. Williams will never happen and I'm old school and big believer in strong O-line & D-line wins championships.

  • In reply to Adam Oestmann:

    Yep ... I know Mario Williams is a pipe dream, but there's no harm in dreaming. The Bears do need someone else opposite of Peppers. Idonije works hard, but is getting older and is an average DE at best. Perhaps through the draft the Bears can find a gem. Totally agree about the Offensive line ... that needs to be fixed.

  • Adam Thank you for doing Chicago Bear Huddle, miss being up there and getting a little tired of same old from trib and suntimes. Really hope you get some more bloggers that are knowledgeable, you guys keep up the good work.

  • In reply to uprooted 2 TX:

    Thanks, man. I very much appreciate that.

  • I would like the Bears to sign Meachem or Manningham (Manningham may demand too much). At least make the phone call to Mario Williams, but he is out of our price range. Sign Finnegan. Sign John Carlson.

    Draft a Michael Floyd/Stephen Hill. Draft a pure pass rusher (if they happen to sign VJax address this in first round with Mercilus instead of WR). Draft LB. Draft OL.

  • In reply to Nmullins20:

    Possibly Sign David Hawthorne as the heir apparent to Urlacher and play him as the 3rd linebacker for now, but the Bears might not think him fast enough for their scheme. That would change the 3rd round pick to DL/OL

  • All you guys make great points! I could slap my guidance counselor for not suggesting 'NFL GM' the caliber of a Jerry Angelo was an achievable career for people with zero qualifications &/or credentials! Darn it!

    My feeling is this:

    If the Bears can land a veteran talent the likes of V-Jax,,,then by-golly you have to pull the trigger (Cutler sure will on that deep seam route).

    As far as not drafting an elite WR prospect like Michael Floyd in the 1st Rd due to a high profile FA WR signing, I can't say i totally agree. If the O-Line continues to "struggle", two threats like V-Jax & Floyd & a reliable, sure-handed slot guy like Bennet would make defenses reluctant to use exotic blitzes for the fear of being burned! Teams like the Packers (blaspheme, I know) draft & stockpile TALENT, with a slim emphasis on team need. That strategy has produced a WR core & an offense in general that makes the P@!?ers virtually unstoppable.

    As far as Nicks is concerned, I'd much rather sign a guy like Gaither or Grubbs & adjust line accordingly.

    Alpha & Out!

  • Hey Adam,

    I'm using my iPhone 4S to access this blog - I don't see the contribution options you referred to earlier in the week. Will I need to use a desktop for full view?

  • In reply to Alpha79:

    I can see it on mine, but I have to scroll all the way down to the bottom. Just email me if interested.

  • Hmmm??? ...well I'll be a Ruskell's uncle! I see it now.

    Ok, I'm game!

  • Really do need a big, top o' the line wideout for Cutler to play with, thinking Jackson is going to cost more than I would personally pay and there are some pretty decent options F/A wise at WR while still picking up one of the better receivers in the draft. Spend a little less than what Jackson would cost at that position and get some help on the OL and in the secondary. Not saying go crazy F/A wise, I think Emery is smarter than that right now and will play to his strengths to pick up some "key" F/A yet rely on the draft to try and get things steered back in the right direction, remember, this team wasn't a "wreck" totally.

  • In reply to daddyo:

    I say go "balls-in" & rejuvenate Cutler & Da Bears pedestrian offense. We're paying a lot of $$$ for Cutler to throw the football, why not maximize that investment with a Top 5 WR addition. With 8 draft picks, & the possible option to trade down in the 1st to add another, Emery can begin to build this team the way he insisted - through scouting & drafting.


    He should sign a proven weapon for his franchise March 13th, & avoid the anxiety of hoping a draft pick/prospect pans out.

    -my opinion

  • Every team has to create a mis-match or something they are really dominant in...this is the way I would do it...

    1, Sign Mario Williams at all you have Melton, Williams and Peppers...Rogers and Stafford will not be accurate looking out their ear hole!
    2. Sign the best FA WR that you can...Jackson would be nice but Garcon would be my second choice and would flourish with Bears...stay away from Colston...he is good because of Brees.
    3. Draft in the following order... LT, WR, CB, LB

    Can probably mix the draft order up a bit based on who is available but you get the point...don't draft or sign a guard, center, safety or TE until you are comfortable that all other needs are set. So many teams draft for next year...a team should always try to avoid that and I think making those moves will put our new GM in a position to draft for the future assuming he is better than Angelo...lets hope so!

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