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The Early Lead
Posted at 10:18 AM ET, 03/06/2012

Vincent Jackson leads free agent WR market; Wes Welker, Dwayne Bowe get franchise tag

What could have been a loaded free agent wide receiver class lost some of its luster on Monday as two of the league’s top pass catchers were slapped with the franchise tag.


Vincent Jackson could soon be trading in the bolt for a new logo. (Tim Sharp - AP)
New England Patriots All-Pro Wes Welker and Kansas City Chiefs big-play man Dwayne Bowe were both tagged by their respective teams, joining Philadelphia Eagles speedster DeSean Jackson as potential free agents who will likely be staying up.

The San Diego Chargers were one of only 11 teams not to use their tag, and as a result, wide receiver Vincent Jackson will be an unrestricted free agent on March 13th — and he can expect plenty of offers.

While the Chargers would like to keep Jackson in San Diego, they used the tag on him last year and doing so again would require a salary-cap figure of about $13.7 million.

Now Jackson is free to explore his options, which may include the likes of the Redskins, Bears, Panthers, 49ers, Vikings, Seahawks and Bills.

The 29-year-old, two-time Pro Bowl selection caught 60 passes for 1,106 yards and nine touchdowns last season — his third 1,000-yard campaign in the last four years.

Other notable wideouts who may be on the move include Marques Colston (80-1,143-8), Brandon Lloyd (70-966-5) and Pierre Garcon (70-947-6).

What team would be the best fit for Jackson and where will the rest of these guys end up?

More from Washington Post Sports:

Redskins could pursue Vincent Jackson on free agent market

Randy Moss to workout with Saints

Marshawn Lynch, Arian Foster sign long-term deals

Saints put franchise tag on Drew Brees

By  |  10:18 AM ET, 03/06/2012

 
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