Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson found dead in hotel room

Tom Schad
 
| USA TODAY

Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead in a Florida hotel room Monday morning, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announced. He was 38.

A three-time Pro Bowler with the then-San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jackson had been staying at a Homewood Suites on the eastern outskirts of Tampa. His body was discovered by a housekeeper around 11:30 a.m. ET Monday morning.

The sheriff’s office said in a news release that it is investigating the case, but that Jackson’s body showed “no apparent signs of trauma.”

Spokesperson Crystal Clark clarified to USA TODAY Sports that authorities do not believe a crime occurred, nor suspect foul play.

“My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him,” Hillsborough County sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement.

“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.”

The sheriff’s office indicated that Jackson’s family had reported him as missing on Wednesday, but officers located him at the Homewood Suites the following day. Authorities spoke with him, assessed his well-being and closed the missing persons case, according to the news release.

A spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office, which will determine the cause of death, did not immediately reply to an email Monday evening.

The son of two Army veterans, Jackson was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and quickly emerged as a two-sport star. After graduating from high school with a 4.1 grade point average, he played for both the basketball and football teams at Northern Colorado, using his height, physicality and leaping ability to excel in both.

Jackson was selected by the Chargers in the second round of the 2005 draft and became a starter the following year. He spent the first seven years of his 12-year career in San Diego before signing with the Buccaneers as a free agent in 2012. He made three Pro Bowls in a four-year span from 2009 to 2012.

The 6-foot-5 wide receiver last played in 2016 before landing on injured reserve with a knee injury. He announced his retirement in 2018 after catching 540 passes for 9,080 yards and 57 touchdowns.

Jackson was known for his support of military families, including his work through The Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, which he founded in 2012. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office noted that it named Jackson an honorary deputy three years ago to “recognize his dedication to the community.”

Contact Tom Schad at tschad@usatoday.com or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.

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