The San Diego Union Tribune is reporting that the San Diego Chargers could end up trading Pro Bowl receiver Vincent Jackson, who is planning to hold out as a result of not signing his restricted free-agent tender. He could miss, at least, the first 10 games of the season before returning to qualify for an accrued season.
There has been talk for several days that Jackson could end up being traded. Teams that could be interested include Seattle, Washington, Chicago and Denver, although there is virtually no chance San Diego will deal Jackson to an AFC West rival.
I wrote earlier Tuesday that San Diego general manager A.J. Smith will not cave in this matter in regards to both Jackson and left tackle Marcus McNeill, who is also planning to stage a hold out.
However, if the Chargers can get something of value for Jackson and get the matter resolved, I don’t think that would be caving. That would be a sign of Smith showing he is in control and that he will ship players out of the loveliest city in the NFL if they don’t want to play by his rules.
I think San Diego could get some solid value for Jackson. He's is big, strong and fast receiver who had 68 catches last year and is getting better. However, there is a big knock against Jackson. He has two drunken driving arrests since entering the NFL and is likely facing a short NFL suspension in 2010.
Jackson is looking for a huge contract (think north of the $50 million Miami gave Brandon Marshall after acquiring him from Denver in April) and some teams may be leery of giving him that deal. Still, Jackson has had fewer legal issues than Marshall and did not create the team problems that Marshall created during his tenuous time in Denver. Miami gave two second-round picks to Denver for Marshall. Jackson could fetch at least a solid No. 2 pick.
I think teams like the Seahawks, Redskins and the Bears would all be willing to give up a nice pick for Jackson. The Seahawks and Redskins would also likely be willing to pay him what he wants.
I know new Washington head coach Mike Shanahan is a big Jackson fan. He nearly drafted him in 2005 in the second round when Broncos took the late Darrent Williams at No. 56. Jackson was next on Denver’s draft board. He went five spots later to the rival Chargers and the Broncos were not happy about it. The Redskins have long been known to spend big and to trade draft picks, and trading picks for Jackson could be a fit.
If San Diego can get good value for Jackson, and if it doesn’t think it can keep him for the future, they should make the move now.
As for McNeill, the San Diego Union Tribune reports he is not on the block because the team eventually wants to sign him long term. I have also heard that McNeill may not be as dead set as Jackon on holding out for the long haul.