Cops have launched an investigation after Vincent Jackson, who ended his glittering NFL career at Super Bowl champs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2016, was found dead in a hotel room where he had reportedly spent more than a month.
A housekeeper discovered the 38-year-old at the Homewood Suites hotel in the Tampa area of Florida, days after officials located Jackson, spoke to him and canceled a missing person case after “assessing” his “wellbeing”.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said there was no immediately evident cause behind the former San Diego Chargers star’s death, and it is unclear why Jackson, who is thought to have earned around $71 million from lucrative contracts during his 12 years in the NFL, was staying at the hotel.
“My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him,” said a statement from Sheriff Chad Chronister, of the department where Jackson had been made an honorary deputy.
“Mr Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else.
“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.”
Wide receiver Jackson made the Pro Bowl twice with the Chargers and once with the Buccaneers.
🤦🏾♂️ My Goodness, may God be with your family Vincent Jackson! Rest In Peace! Og was a helluva teammate & a great guy frfr! Man I’m Praying for your Family 🙏 .
— DJ Swearinger (@JungleBoi_Swagg) February 15, 2021
“Vincent was a fan favorite not only for his Pro Bowl play on the field but for the impact he made on the community off of it,” said a Chargers statement, adding that the team was “shocked and deeply saddened”.
“The work he had done on behalf of military families through his foundation in the years since his retirement has been an inspiration to all of us.
“We simply cannot believe he’s gone and our hearts go out to his wife, Lindsey, their children, his parents, former teammates and everyone whose lives were touched by having known Vincent.”
This Vincent Jackson story is so sad & really odd at the same time. Just doesn’t sound right
— Tre Watson (@MDQue_33) February 15, 2021
V Jax thank you for everything I love you big bro. Praying for your family Rest in Paradise
— Mike Evans (@MikeEvans13_) February 15, 2021
Maryland linebacker Tre Watson was among those shocked by the news.
“This Vincent Jackson story is so sad and really odd at the same time,” he tweeted. “Just doesn’t sound right.”
Former teammate DJ Swearinger wrote: “Rest In Peace. [Jackson] was a hell of a teammate and a great guy.”