Dexter Jackson Out of the Shadows

Dexter Jackson, newly crowned MVP of Super Bowl XXXVII, has just been found. The hope here in San Diego is that it was just a whisper, but the truth is it was a shout. You see he is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and the hope here was San Diego would make a play for him.

Dexter Jackson 6-1, 203 pounds, had a good season in 2002. During the regular season he had 71 tackles 6 passes defensed and three interceptions. In 2000 he had four interceptions and eight passes defensed. Nice stats from the fourth year player out of Florida State. All of his interceptions came on first down this year, a sure sign that shows he can recognize the play as it develops, and does not bite on play action pass.

Now Jackson has just won the Super Bowl MVP award and will be looking to get paid. He has his ring, now he will look to line his wallet. Dexter Jackson had two interceptions on the day; the first interception came on a pass thrown on the run by Gannon, after DE Greg Spires had flushed him from the pocket. The second came a few minutes later on a deep pass intended for WR Jerry Porter.

"We're one of the best of all-time. We're a great defense,'' Jackson said after the Buccaneers' 48-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. ''You never can say you're the best. We're one of the best. They know now, they know tonight, we're for real.''

Jackson was only the eighth defensive player, and third defensive back to win the MVP award in the 37-year history of this game and when he met the media, he wouldn't let go of the MVP trophy. ''I share this with the whole secondary,'' he said.

''Gannon throws 40 to 50 times. Opportunities came my way and I capitalized on it,'' Jackson said. ''During the season, people don't challenge our defense. He tried to make some plays, and I was able to capitalize. Gannon started getting frustrated a lot, which led him into more trouble. He was moving his feet a lot faster. He had happy feet.''

Now Jackson enters a market devoid of premier young safeties and lots of teams looking. Jackson may have just joined that group today. Another thing Jackson is, is a solid pass coverage man, something teams are leaning on. There are plenty of good run stopping safeties, but very few who can do it all. Jackson is going to hit another jackpot this offseason.

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Denis Savage contributed to this report

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