Vincent Jackson issue resolved

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Adam Caplan

Adam Caplan is our newest NFL reporter/insider at He has spent the past 10 seasons covering the league, specializing in player personnel, injuries and contracts.


According to various reports, the issue whether San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Jackson will be unavailable to play three or six games this season has been resolved. Jackson can play in the fifth game of any team he’s traded to, but there are various conditions.


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According to a statement posted on, Jackson must be traded by Sept. 22 by 4 p.m. ET, or he will be out at least six games. Also, a trade of Jackson can’t happen until Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. ET.

Here are the other conditions:

- If Jackson signs a contract with the Chargers and is traded by 4 p.m. ET, on Wednesday, September 22, he will be placed on the Commissioner Exempt list for three games, retroactive to game two of the season. So if Jackson is traded by the September 22 deadline, he’ll be able to play for his new team by the team’s fifth game.

- If Jackson is not traded by 4 p.m. ET on September 22, he will serve the remainder of his three-game suspension and be placed on the roster exempt list until the day following the third game scheduled after the date he actually reports, regardless of any subsequent trade.

- During the short moratorium until Friday at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, any team interested in trading for Jackson must receive permission in advance from Chargers before speaking with Jackson’s agents (Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod) about possible contract terms. The trade compensation must be negotiated directly with the Chargers. The Chargers can’t trade Jackson until the moratorium has expired.

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- If Jackson is traded before the September 22 deadline, he will be allowed to report to the new team and, at the discretion of the team, be eligible to participate in those activities permitted by the Substances of Abuse Policy for the remainder of his suspension. After the third game of Jackson's suspension, he will be permitted to practice with the new club pursuant to the roster exempt rules in the week prior to the new club's fourth regular-season game, but will be unavailable to play, and cannot be paid, until the fifth game.

Jackson, who was already suspended for the first three games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, was expected to miss an additional three games because the Chargers put him on their roster exempt list.

The NFLPA argued that the only way the exemption should be used if he’s still on the Chargers, not if he’s traded to another team, meaning the exemption should not be transferrable. The NFL’s argument was that the roster exemption should travel with him to any team that he’s traded to.

At least now for Jackson, any team wants to acquire him understands what it will take to get a deal done.

Fourth-year WR Legedu Naanee is currently filling for Jackson with the starters.

Teams that make sense to have interest in Jackson based on need include the St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, and Washington Redskins.

Tagged: Chargers, Vincent Jackson

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