The NFL's official website has released an article accusing the San Diego Chargers of blowing up a potential trade for Vincent Jackson with an unnamed team.
So what? This report may or may not be true, because the information came from Jackson's agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod.
This whole situation is the agents' fault anyway and they goofed up by being impatient. Vincent does whatever the agents tell him to do. If you look at the Chargers' history, they pay guys that are willing to work with the team. Had Jackson signed the one-year tender, went to work, and proved that he put the team first, he would have been paid.
Disagree if you want, but look at the Chargers' history before you speak.
Jackson made the mistake of holding out for more money on the recommendation of his agents, who obviously felt that they had enough leverage to force the Chargers' hand.
Even if the Chargers did not have other proven receivers on the roster, that stance was never going to work (see Marcus McNeil) and the agents should have known it.
The Chargers do things the Charger way and will not be swayed. Not the AJ Smith way, but the Charger way.
That includes not being bullied by sports agents nor politicking. Jackson's agents did not know the Chargers' history and now they've become a part of it. The outcome was predictable.
Even super agent Tom Condon is not going to advise his guys to hold out when dealing with the Chargers. Condon client Antonio Gates held out once, got slapped with a team imposed three-game suspension (also known as the roster exempt list), and a Condon player has never held out again. That includes LaDainian Tomlinson, who was once unhappy with his deal.
If Antonio Gates did not have enough leverage to force the Chargers' hand, no other receiver does either. How could Jackson's agents not know this? That is an absolutely ridiculous oversight.
The nfl.com article is contradicted by a previous article on cbssportsline.com which claims that Jackson's agents bungled the deal by asking for more money than Brandon Marshall received. The source is an unnamed NFC general manager, who was obviously the one trying to make the deal for Vincent Jackson.
Yet another article claims that the Seattle Seahawks were the mystery team trying to trade for Jackson.
The articles all have one thing in common: None of this information has come from the Chargers' front office.
So who is lying?
Vincent Jackson's agents have goofed by thinking that they held cards which they did not have. They were right about one thing, however: The Chargers have little motivation to trade Jackson this season.
Make no mistake about it, pass target for pass target Vincent Jackson is above all of the so-called elite receivers in the league. It does not matter if we're talking about Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, or Brandon Marshall.
If Vincent Jackson were thrown to as many times as Andre Johnson was last season, his stats would have been comparable to Jerry Rice in his prime.
It makes no sense for the Chargers to trade Jackson to the Minnesota Vikings or any other contender. Jackson could put the Vikings over the top.
However, no one knows what team could be put over the top by acquiring Vincent Jackson. For example, the Colts thought they had safely traded Marshall Faulk away to the lowly St. Louis Rams back in 1999 (who were coming off a disastrous 4-12 season) when in fact the move put the Rams over the Super Bowl winning top when combined with all of the other moves they made in that offseason.
The Chargers already have five picks in the first three rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft. They do not need any more picks next year. Since draft picks have a hard time making the Chargers roster, it makes much more sense to trade Jackson for picks in the 2012 NFL Draft.
If Jackson chooses to sit out for the entire year, the Chargers will continue to own his rights next season. That would be another momentous mistake by Jackson's agents, so do not expect that to happen. Therefore, the Chargers were right to lower Jackson's tender from $3.28 million to under $600,000. Jackson admitted himself that he sees $3.28 million in the same light as $600,000.
So play for $600,000 buddy. Then go play for another team.
Why should the Chargers reward another team's player financially? Why should the Chargers toss over $2,000,000 down the drain? Pay the mercenary as little as possible and then send him on his way.
If Jackson walks away as a free agent, the Chargers will likely receive a compensatory third round draft pick for Vincent Jackson in return. If he does not play for the Chargers this season, the Chargers can potentially trade him for more than a third round pick next season.
If no trade is worked out this year, Jackson likely returns to the Chargers this season and either a deal is worked out, he is traded, or he walks next year. Either way, the Chargers will wind up with something in return for Jackson.
One thing is for sure. If Jackson does return to the Chargers this season, he will angrily dominate defensive backs.
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