It's starting to look more and more like the San Diego Chargers will have little choice but to apply the Franchise Tag to wide receiver Vincent Jackson for a second straight year (via NFL.com). Considering the recent decline of tight end Antonio Gates and the fact that there really isn't another proven receiver on the team, it would make sense for the Chargers to bite the bullet and guarantee Jackson about $14 million this year. No decision has been finalized, but Norv Turner recently acknowledged it's a possibility.
"Were talking about all the different options we have and Vincent is an important guy for us and we want to have him back," Turner said.
As costly as it could be to keep Jackson, it could be even more so if they were to let him go. Jackson led the team with 1,106 receiving yards and scored a team-high nine touchdowns. No other receiver had as many as 900 yards, although Malcom Floyd did show signs that he's ready to break out by racking up at least 95 yards in six of his final eight games of the season and finish off with 856 yards.
Still, for a team with Super Bowl aspirations, it would make sense to keep Jackson around, especially considering he's not yet 30 and coming off four straight seasons in which he's averaged at least 17.2 yards per catch and made 28 touchdown catches in 52 games.
For more on Jackson's situation, be sure to check out Chargers blog Bolts From The Blue.