SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Wide receiver Vincent Jackson #83 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball against linebacker Justin Houston #50 of the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium on September 25, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 20-17. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
We learned last week, via a report from the San Diego Union-Tribune, that the Buffalo Bills are expected to make a play for free agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson once free agency opens this afternoon. Now, Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports is confirming that the Bills - along with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers - will be in on Jackson.
Cole also confirms last week's report that Jackson's preference is to remain with the San Diego Chargers, and will do so if A.J. Smith and company can compete with the offers he's likely to quickly receive on the open market, which Cole speculates could be around $12 million annually.
Between the three teams Cole mentions, the Bills ($30.8 million) trail the Buccaneers ($42.7 million) by a significant margin in cap space. The Bears ($22.6 million) are considered the current front-runner for Mario Williams, which would obviously eat up some cap room, and it's expected that Chicago will choose between either Williams or Jackson depending on how things go.
Eight hours from now, free agency begins - and when it does, a call to Jackson may be among the first that the Bills make.