BRANDON, Fla. — Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead Monday at a Brandon hotel, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies say the 38-year-old had checked into a Homewood Suites in Brandon on Jan. 11 and had been staying there ever since.
On Feb. 10, the sheriff's office says Jackson's family called to report him missing, and an investigation was launched. Deputies made contact with the former Bucs team captain on Feb. 12 where they spoke with him, assessed his well-being and closed the missing person case, according to a press release.
Deputies say, three days later, a housekeeper found Jackson dead in his hotel room.
The medical examiner's office is working to determine the cause of death, though the sheriff's office says there are no apparent signs of trauma.
Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister issued the following statement on Jackson's death:
"My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him. Mr. Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else. Football 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 Sheriff'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 retired from the NFL in 2018 and is "remembered as one of the best players in Buccaneers franchise history." The former Buccaneer is recognized as the 4th leading receiver in team history after putting up 4,326 yards and 20 touchdowns during his time with Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers released the following statement Monday night:
"We are shocked and saddened to hear the terrible news regarding the loss of Vincent Jackson. During his five seasons with our franchise, Vincent was a consummate professional, who took a great deal of pride in his performance on and off the football field. Vincent was a dedicated father, husband, businessman and philanthropist, who made a deep impact on our community through his unyielding advocacy for military families, supported by the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection for his accomplishments on the field, but his greatest achievements as a Buccaneer were the four consecutive nominations he earned as our Walter Payton Man of the Year. Our deepest condolences go out to his wife, Lindsey, and the entire Jackson family," wrote Bryan Glazer, Buccaneers owner and co-chairman.
His impact off the field was just as impressive. The Jackson in Action 83 Foundation hosted an annual "Military Moms Baby Shower" event in Tampa where the expectant mothers were surprised with free supplies. Over the seven years that Jackson put on the event, local military families received more than $500,000 in products and services.
Tampa Bay Sports Commission Executive Director Rob Higgins sent his thoughts to Jackson's family on Twitter after learning the news.
"Heartbreaking news. Sending thoughts and prayers to VJ’s family. His @JIA83Foundation’s efforts in our community, specifically with military families, was truly incredible. Grateful for all that he did for #TeamTampaBay."
Higgins and 10 Tampa Bay anchor Ryan Bass spoke to Jackson in 2020 on the Tampa Bay 55 podcast about being a hospitality entrepreneur, having military roots and doing charitable work.
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