Jackson not franchised, hits open market

Wide receiver Vincent Jackson was not designated as the Chargers’ franchise player and will become a free agent March 13.

Jackson received the team’s franchise tag last season, and doing so again this year would have required the Chargers to offer a one-year tender at 120 percent of his 2011 figure, which would have been around $13.7 million.

“We discussed it again this morning, and nothing changed. We did not like the franchise number, never did,” Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said.

“Vincent will enter the market, and we will see what happens. We would like to have him continue on with us, but other teams now will enter the picture.

“We will now evaluate our contract proposal, and proceed accordingly.”

Jackson, 29, led the team with nine touchdown catches last season despite battling through various injuries. He caught 60 passes in 2011 and has 272 career receptions for 4,764 yards and 37 touchdowns through his first seven seasons.

Considered one of the best vertical threats in the game, Jackson has played a critical role stretching the field in coach Norv Turner’s offense.