He was only 38 years old. He was found dead on February 15, 2021, at the Homewood Suites located at 10240 Palm River Road in Brandon, Florida. The cause of death has not yet been released. However, the sheriff said on a radio show that the autopsy showed Jackson had chronic alcoholism that led to various health issues. He also said Jackson’s family believes he had CTE from multiple concussions. You can read more about those comments – and listen to the audio of the sheriff making them – here.
The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner told Heavy.com on February 17 that the autopsy report is not yet publicly available.
Jackson was known for his charity work in the community, especially with military families, the sheriff noted in a news release.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jackson Was Found Dead at the Hotel by a Housekeeper; His Family Members Called to Report Him Missing
The Sheriff’s Department confirmed in a statement on Facebook that it is “investigating the death of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Vincent Jackson. Jackson, 38, was found deceased on Monday, February 15, 2021, at the Homewood Suites in Brandon.”
The release says,
“According to hotel staff, Jackson, who is a South Tampa resident, checked into the hotel on January 11 and had been staying in a room since that date. On February 10, HCSO spoke with Jackson’s family members who called to report that he was missing. A formal report was filed on February 11.”
However, authorities initially located Jackson alive. “The following day, February 12, HCSO located Jackson at the Homewood Suites and spoke with him. After assessing Jackson’s well-being, the missing persons case was canceled,” the release says.
Tragically, Jackson “was located deceased at approximately 11:30 a.m. on February 15 in his hotel room by a housekeeper,” the release says.
2. There Were ‘No Apparent Signs of Trauma’
The Sheriff’s Department said there were “no apparent signs of trauma. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of death, as well as officially identify Jackson’s remains based on dental or DNA records. HCSO has notified Jackson’s next of kin of his passing.”
The Sheriff’s release said, “This remains an active and open investigation.”
3. The Sheriff Praised Jackson as ‘Devoted Man’ Who ‘Touched Countless Lives’ Through His Charity Work
The Sheriff released a tribute to Jackson, revealing he was even made an honorary deputy.
“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 Sheriff Chad Chronister.
“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.”
4. Jackson Retired After a Torn Ligament Sidelined His NFL Career
By 2018, Jackson was retired from the Buccaneers after sitting out the 2017 season, according to ESPN.
According to ESPN, Jackson “does community and business work in Tampa,” and played for seven seasons with the Chargers and Buccaneers. “He finishes his career with 540 catches for 9,080 yards and 57 touchdowns,” the site noted.
But a torn ligament reduced his playing time by 2016.
His agent told ESPN at the time that he was “very happily retired.”
5. Tributes Flowed in for Jackson, Calling Him a “Difference Maker Off the Field
Others also offered tributes to Jackson as news of his death spread. Here are some of the comments on Twitter about his passing:
“Aww man that is terrible. He was such a difference maker off the field.”
“Vincent Jackson was elite and under appreciated. RIP.”
“i’m absolutely heartbroken right now man. one of my favorite players growing up and one of the few bright spots on a horribly mismanaged roster. rest in peace vincent jackson.”
WFLA-TV anchor Josh Benson wrote, “I remember seeing and talking with Vincent Jackson in the hallways of my daughter’s school. So friendly. Seemed like such a good Dad. Details are still coming in, but this is heartbreaking for his family, fans and community. This doesn’t make any sense. #RIP #VincentJackson.”
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