Chargers WR Vincent Jackson is changing the way the wide receiver position is perceived in San Diego.
Jackson, as cool as the shady side of an iceberg, says he is just doing his thing. And now he ranks second in the NFL in receiving yards.
Even while he was learning, waiting for his chance, just another Chargers receiver playing in the shadow of the All-Pros at running back and tight end, Jackson knew it would be this way.
His contract runs out after this season, but if there is no new CBA and no salary cap by 2010, Jackson is among the Chargers players who will be restricted free agents in '10 and be much cheaper for the team to keep.
GM A.J. Smith will not talk about his plans with Jackson, but he seems intent on waiting until the offseason to do anything.
Smith was not pleased with Jackson's second drunken-driving arrest, which happened in January in the week before the Chargers' playoff game at Pittsburgh. Jackson, who has pleaded not guilty, has appealed a judge's rejection of his request to suppress his blood test, which he claims was unfairly obtained by police. The case is likely to be postponed until after the season.
But Smith clearly is fond of Jackson's talent and work ethic.