In Jackson, Freeman gains the deep threat and potential game breaker he has been missing. A year ago, Freeman slid backward, making atypical mistakes and committing too many turnovers, and there was concern about his future as the Bucs floundered.
Something had to be done to straighten him out, and something was.
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The Bucs didn't have a deep passing game last season, and Jackson averaged 18.4 yards a catch -- or six-and-a-half more than Williams and nearly four more than Benn, who led the team in that department (14.7). It doesn't take much to figure out what he could do for Tampa Bay -- namely, give the Bucs multiple weapons to attack opponents' pass defenses.
So Tampa's passing game gains a needed lift, while the Chargers' offense loses its third Pro Bowl in a week. The others were guard Kris Dielman and tackle Marcus McNeill.
There had been hopes that the Chargers could keep the guy, and while the club privately told itself that if the big money were there he probably was gone ... and the big money was. The Bucs had over $40 million in cap room -- or, over twice as much as San Diego -- and wasted no time in spending lavishly on Jackson.
Jackson's departure is a blow to San Diego, but it is not a surprise. Jackson held out the first 10 games of 2010 season in a contract dispute, and people close to him figured that if the Chargers weren't going to pay him big money by now they probably weren't going to pay, period.
His loss makes Malcom Floyd the top receiver, and while the guy makes a ton of plays he also gets hurt too often. There are hopes for second-year pro Vincent Brown, but he's 5-11, and then there's Patrick Crayton. OK, so Antonio Gates is back, but we're talking about wide receivers.
Bottom line: The Chargers have another big hole to fill in a year where they desperately must win, and tell me how that's anything but bad.