Chargers' deadlock with Jackson costly

BY foxsports • September 22, 2010

Wednesday’s 4:00 p.m. ET deadline to trade WR Vincent Jackson passed without a deal. So, for now, he’ll remain with the San Diego Chargers.

The Chargers and the NFLPA reached a settlement last week on the original six games that Jackson was supposed to miss.

Jackson was suspended by the NFL for three games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The Chargers put him on their roster-exempt list, which meant he would miss an additional three games.

In the settlement, Jackson would be able to play in the fifth game of the season provided he was traded to a team and signed a contract by the aforementioned deadline.

Jackson is currently a restricted free agent, but has refused to sign his one-year tender. That’s why the Chargers put him on their exempt-list. They, or more likely general manager A.J. Smith, wanted to somehow gain leverage in this situation. Or, as some have suggested, show the receiver that he can’t have control.

But the recent settlement spurred interest in Jackson. However, as’s Jay Glazer notes, the Chargers were simply asking for too much compensation, so no other teams were willing to ante up what San Diego wanted in return. The Minnesota Vikings, who have a major issue at the receiver position because of the absence of Sidney Rice (hip), were the team that showed the most interest.

The acrimony from the team’s perspective started once word got out that Jackson might not sign his one-year tender until after Week 10, which would still give him credit for an accrued season of service. By getting that accrued season of service (at least six games in), Jackson could be an unrestricted free agent next season. But there is no CBA between the players and league, so it’s not certain what the new rules will be for free agency.

Because he wasn’t traded, Jackson will now have to serve the remainder of his three-game suspension and the entire three-game suspension on the roster-exempt list if he does sign, regardless of a future trade. The NFL trading deadline is set for Oct. 19 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

This situation clearly will not have a happy ending. The Chargers reduced Jackson’s one-year salary from $3.268 million to just $600,000. And it appears Jackson won’t report until just before Thanksgiving, if he does at all. There still has been no definitive word if he plans to report to the team this season.

Do the Chargers really gain anything from this? Do they even want him back? They’re still without their best receiver, that much is obvious. And nothing they’ve done recently is going to bring him back to the team any earlier.

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