Jackson To Sign Somewhere Next Week
July 9 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Free agent receiver Willie Jackson, a player the 49ers have had their eyes on since the beginning of the off-season, may finally be ready to make a decision on his future. The former Saint, has been a lethal weapon against the 49ers’ NFC West rivals, the Rams, and would bolster the current receiver situation for the 49ers. While Jackson is a player that would be a great addition to the team, however, some believe the 49ers would be much better off adding some extra depth to their offensive line - and they may be just in believing so. Still a decision by Jackson, at the very least, will foretell how the 49ers will use their left over salary cap space.
Jackson has a knack for getting open, something many people believe the 49ers current compliment receiver, JJ Stokes, simply has trouble doing. Still the 49ers have lots of confidence in Stokes who always seems to make clutch grabs and rarely drops the ball. Jackson would have to beat out Stokes in training camp to earn a starting position - and that could prevent him from choosing the 49ers. Ideally, Jackson would like to go to a place where he would see the most possible field time. Unfortunately for him, their does not appear to be a team interested in him where he would be guaranteed that opportunity.
Along with the 49ers, Tampa Bay, Washington, Green Bay, and Minnesota have all show interest in Jackson. Jackson has already turned down several offers this off-season. He does however, still have three open to him They are believed to be from Washington, San Francisco and Tampa Bay, with the ‘Skins and 49ers being his most likely suitors.
Where Jackson will wind up is rather uncertain. It is interesting to see that for a player that is so concerned with starting that he didn’t try and sign earlier this off-season, so he would have had a chance to fully learn the play book by training camp. The fight to start will be harder for Jackson now that he has to learn the book ‘on the fly’. In signing with the 49ers, Jackson would have the opportunity to play along side his brother, something no other team could offer him.