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Former NFL receiver Vincent Jackson is found dead in Florida hotel room

In a screen capture from a 2014 DOD video, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson prepares for a flight with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds out of MacDill AFB, Florida. He was the founder of the Jackson In Action 83 Foundation, a nonprofit supporting military families.

FROM A DOD VIDEO

By RICK STROUD | Tampa Bay Times | Published: February 15, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. (Tribune News Service) — Vincent Jackson, the former Bucs and Chargers receiver, was found dead Monday in a Brandon hotel where he had been living since January. He was 38.

According to a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s news release, members of Jackson’s family called the department to say he was missing. A formal missing person’s report was filed Feb. 11. The next day, deputies located Jackson at the Homewood Suites in Brandon and spoke with him. After assessing his well being, the case was canceled.

But on Monday, a housekeeper at the hotel found Jackson dead in his room around 11:30 a.m. There were no apparent signs of trauma, the department said. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of death.

Jackson, who was as known in Tampa Bay for his charitable endeavors as his accomplishments on the football field, is survived by wife Lindsey and four children.

“My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “Mr. Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else.

“Family 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 Sherriff’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.”

Jackson was a three-time Pro Bowl receiver who signed a five-year, $55 million contract with the Bucs in 2012 as a free agent from the Chargers. He had 540 career receptions for 9,080 yards and 57 touchdowns.

A team captain, Jackson was one of the most respected players in club history for his determination and calm demeanor. But it was his activism in the community that separated him from a lot of players.

The son of a military family, Jackson made an instant connection with the Tampa Bay community, which is home to MacDill Air Force Base.

Both of Jackson’s parents served in the U.S. Armed Forces and he sponsored military families at every Buccaneers home game through the Jackson in Action Front Row Fans section at Raymond James Stadium. In fact, Jackson won the Bucs’ Man of the Year honor four years in a row from 2013-16.

Jackson was a mentor to many Bucs players, including receiver Mike Evans, who was the team’s first-round pick in 2014.

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