Buccaneers: Vincent Jackson leaves legacy of greatness in Tampa

Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Vincent Jackson /

Vincent Jackson has left a legacy that is hard to match in Tampa.

The Buccaneers have lost an all-time great player today. The loss of Vincent Jackson will sting for a long time to come, and his impact both on and off the field is difficult to put words to.

While the details leading up to his extremely premature death are uncertain, Jackson’s legacy tells its own story.

As a player, Vincent Jackson was the kind of guy that you always wanted on your team. After numerous successful seasons in San Diego, Jackson signed with the Buccaneers in 2012, and he immediately became a contributor on one of the most dysfunctional teams in the sport.

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For those of us that remember, joining the Bucs was still not an attractive option for most free agents in the early 2010s. Heck, Tampa has just recently become a favorable destination for players looking for a change, yet Jackson came, ready to make an impact.

Despite coaching changes, new quarterbacks, and new offensive scheme, Jackson never wavered in his game. With 3,610 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in his first three seasons, Jackson has forever solidified himself as one of the best Buccaneer receivers of all time, especially when considering how he overcame so many obstacles within the franchise.

While on-field performance is huge for a legacy, Vincent Jackson was able to set himself apart even more off the field.

Vincent Jackson was as good off the field as he was on it

Jackson has been heavily involved in charity work in his post-football career, and his love for the Tampa area is more than evident. The Vincent Jackson Foundation has assisted military families since its inception, and the impact on the Tampa area goes without saying for countless people.

Jackson’s generosity and heart set him apart from the vast majority of players who have played in the NFL, and the Buccaneers will forever be lucky to have him as a part of their history.

While he never won a Super Bowl ring, Vincent Jackson laid the framework for the current attitude in Tampa Bay. As the mentor to Mike Evans when he arrived in the league, the “team-first” mentality started to become one of the base parts of the Buccaneer belief system.

Evans carries this legacy now, and the Bucs won a Super Bowl in large part due to the selflessness that the players showed, and that likely never came without Vincent Jackson.

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It isn’t easy being a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, but Vincent Jackson played with pride for every second of his career. That pride carried off the field and into his next stage of life, and many players could only hope to leave the legacy that Vincent Jackson did.

As fans, we could’ve never asked for a better player to help define our culture. Jackson gave his all, every second that he wore pewter and red, and we were all lucky to have him impact us and our franchise in the way that he did.

Rest easy 83.