It’s amazing that this tug of war is still going on between A.J. Smith and Vincent Jackson. With all the speculation about the different amounts of interest in the Pro Bowl 6’6” deep threat, it’s a wonder if we’ll see the end of this anytime this season. With his previous legal troubles and suspensions from the league, you can wonder why he’s still hanging around on the Chargers’ roster.
With the fact that he’s going to be suspended for a minimum three games for his DUI problems, not including any additional suspension due to hitting roster exemption status, his asking price for any team looking for a true No. 1 receiver has to be appealing. Recently, the Seahawks were the only team that was allowed to discuss trade options with VJ and his agent, Neil Schwartz.
Rumors have the bargaining price as low as a second round pick to acquire him from the Chargers. With that being all it takes to get him, and all these teams in the league that are “receiver-challenged”, why is he still sitting on the roster at an impasse’ with San Diego?
A.J. Smith has mentioned to VJ’s agent that he’s specific about what teams he’ll allow Jackson to be traded to. Without obvious naming, I believe we can count Oakland, Denver, and Kansas City out of the running for him. I’d assume that A.J. wouldn’t want any other top tier AFC teams like New York Jets or Baltimore to get a shot at him, more because of the fear of running into him in the playoffs when it truly counts.
So you narrow out maybe half the teams in the AFC between people that already have top receivers, or teams that the Chargers won’t deal with. What about these teams in the NFC?
Off the top of my head, I could see five teams willing to give up at least a second round pick for this type of player.
Minnesota recently lost Sidney Rice for half the season to hip surgery. Giving him VJ and Rice once he returns would be a monstrous passing attack for Favre to pick defenses apart.
Seattle already has expressed great interest and willingness to negotiate.
I could easily see San Francisco being in the mix as well. They don’t have anyone on that roster that can truly command a double team similar to what Jackson would.
On top of the teams mentioned, I could see the New York Giants looking into it as well. They’ve had a void in the passing game since Plaxico Burress was put in jail for the nightclub incident. Eli Manning would love to have another deep threat like that again, no question.
The Washington Redskins could be another team interested as well. With recently acquired QB Donovan McNabb from the Eagles, the receiving core he has to work with in D.C. is rather thin and inexperienced. Donovan hasn’t had a true No. 1 target to throw to since the 2004 season with Terrell Owens.
Now I know with acquiring VJ from the Chargers, his agents have been looking for that long term contract to make him one of the highest paid receivers in the game. Something similar to the five year, $50 million contract that the Dolphins gave Brandon Marshall.
While I don’t know that he will command that type of money, something in the similar range of around $40 million or more I believe would be enough to get him out of San Diego and happy for a while.
Whatever the case may be, his time in San Diego seems to be over. The Chargers front office does not look like they are holding him in high regard with the way they are handling the situation. If they want to get anything for him, the sooner the trade, the higher the compensation they will receive. The longer he sits out, the lower his stock drops and less he’ll be worth to whatever team he ends up with.
At this point A.J., you’re hurting your own organization more than helping it by drawing this out.
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