Former Bucs recipient Vincent Jackson was found dead in a hotel in Brandon,
His death at Homewood Suites, where he had been staying since January, is being investigated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
The former receiver of the Bucs and Chargers, Vincent Jackson, was found dead Monday in a hotel in Brandon, where he had been staying since January. He was thirty-eight.
Members of Jackson's family called the department to report he was missing, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. On Thursday, the official missing person's report was filed. Deputies found Jackson at the Homewood Suites in Brandon the next day and talked to him. The case was canceled after reviewing his well being.
But on Monday, about 11:30 a.m., a housekeeper at the hotel found Jackson dead in his bed. No obvious signs of trauma were present, the sheriff's office said. The cause of death will be determined by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office.
Jackson, who was known for his charitable efforts as his achievements on the football field in Tampa Bay, is survived by Lindsey's wife and four children.
"We all mourn the loss of our beloved Vincent," Allison Stokes Gorrell, a spokesman for the Jackson family, said. "His wife and family are asking that at this time everyone respect their privacy."
As well as former and current players, the Bucs organization responded to the news with shock and sorrow, but remembered Jackson as an exceptional individual and athlete.
"Vincent was a consummate professional during his five seasons with our franchise, who took a great deal of pride in his performance on and off the football field," Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer said in a statement. "Vincent was a dedicated father, husband, businessman and philanthropist, who, supported by the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, made a profound impact on our community through his unyielding advocacy for military families."
Jackson was a three-time Pro Bowl receiver who, as a free agent from the Chargers, signed a five-year, $55 million deal with the Bucs in 2012. He had 540 career catches and 57 touchdowns for 9,080 yards.
A team captain, Jackson was one of the most admired players for his determination and cool attitude in club history. But what isolated him from a lot of players was his activism in the community.
"In a text to the Tampa Bay Times, former Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said, "It hurts me to see this happen to such a great guy at such a young age. He was a man who was more than a football player, a wonderful husband and a great father who spent his life trying to support others. Spreading love and happiness and doing everything in his power to make the next man smile. He was really a friend and one of my mentors at my young age in the NFL, someone I found to be more than a teammate.
For him, my nickname was 'ultimate pro' because he did all right. Nutrition, taking care of his body, exercising, offseason, practicing habits, and especially on game day, off the field. He was a real example of how we are supposed to be professionals and, more importantly, men. Truly, he'll be missed!! Love Jack you!! ”
"Said Bucs tight end Cameron Brate, Jackson's teammate for three seasons: "Vincent had a tremendous effect on everybody in the locker room and so many individuals in the world. He really will be missed.
Jackson, the son of a military family, made an immediate connection to the city of Tampa Bay, which is home to MacDill Air Force Base.
Jackson's parents both worked in the U.S. Armed Forces and he supported military families through the Jackson in Action Front Row Fans section at Raymond James Stadium at every Bucs home game. Currently, from 2013-16, Jackson received the Bucs 'Man of the Year award four years in a row.
Jackson had written a series of children's books by Danny Dogtag, offering advice to children of regularly moving military families.
Vincent Jackson, middle, accompanied by wife Lindsey, reads Danny Dogtags: Coping with Deployment, during a Bucs youth camp on June 13, 2014, to children from military families.
"My heart aches for the many loved ones left behind by Vincent Jackson, from his wife and kids to the nation of Buccaneers that adored him," said Sheriff Chad Chronister of Hillsborough County. "Mr., Mr. Jackson was a faithful man who put everything else above his family and friends.
'Family aside, through his Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, he touched countless lives. We shared a passion for helping service families and, three years ago, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office also made Jackson an honorary deputy to acknowledge his commitment to the group. Not only football fans around the world, but also the people here in Hillsborough County who received the rewards of his generous donations, will sorely miss him.
Jackson was a mentor to many Bucs players, including the first-round pick of the team in 2014, receiver Mike Evans. "V Jax, thank you for all the love I have for your big brother," Evans tweeted. "To pray for your family. In Heaven, relax.
The 6-foot-5 Jackson had back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 2008-09 as a second-round selection of the Chargers in 2005 out of Northern Colorado. He was convicted twice, in 2006 and three years later, for a DUI while with the Chargers. For breaking the personal behavior policy, he was suspended for the first three games to begin the 2010 season, but had no similar problems with the Bucs.
"We are shocked and profoundly saddened by the news of the sudden passing of Vincent Jackson," the Chargers said in a statement. "Not just for his Pro Bowl performance on the field, but for the effect he made on the community, Vincent was a fan favorite. The work he has done through his foundation on behalf of service families in the years following his retirement has been an inspiration to us all. We simply can't believe that he's gone.'
Jackson has been very involved in the business community as a restaurant owner since his retirement.
He was the owner and partner of Cask Social Kitchen, a Howard Avenue restaurant in South Tampa, which he opened in 2015. He was also vice president of the Callaloo Company, which gave the iconic Manhattan Casino's Food Hall in Midtown St. Petersburg a facelift.
Jackson earned his Bachelor of Science degree from USF's Muma College of Business in 2016, where he spent two years taking lessons.