NFL

Vincent Jackson, former NFL star, found dead aged 38

Three-time Pro Bowler, former San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Vincent Jackson has died aged 38. He was found in a Tampa-area hotel.

Former NFL star Vincent Jackson found dead aged 38

Vincent Jackson, the former San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers star, has died aged 38.

Jackson – a three-time NFL Pro Bowler – was found dead in a Tampa-area hotel room on Monday, according to local authorities.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said the 38-year-old Jackson had been staying at the Homewood Suites since checking into the hotel in Brandon, Florida on January 11 before being found dead at approximately 11:30 (local time) Monday.

The sheriff's office had just spoken with Jackson at the hotel on February 12. one day after his family filed a formal missing person's report. The authorities cancelled the report after assessing Jackson's well-being.

Jackson was found by a housekeeper, and there were no signs of trauma, according to the sheriff's office.

"My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him," Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement.

"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 recognise 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."

Jackson spent 12 seasons in the NFL from 2005-16, playing his first seven with the Chargers before enjoying his final five with the Buccaneers.

He earned trips to the Pro Bowl in 2009, 2011 and 2012 and finished his career with 9,080 receiving yards and 57 touchdowns.

Jackson ranks fourth in Buccaneers franchise history with 4,326 receiving yards and 10th on the all-time Chargers list with 4,754 yards receiving.

The Chargers said: "We are shocked and deeply saddened by news of Vincent Jackson's sudden passing. Vincent was a fan favourite not only for his Pro Bowl play on the field but for the impact he made on the community off of it.

"The work he has done on behalf of military families through his foundation in the years since his retirement has been an inspiration to all of us.

"We simply cannot believe he's gone, and our hearts go out to his wife, Lindsey, their children, his parents, former team-mates and everyone whose lives were touched by having known Vincent."