The Minnesota Vikings were in hot pursuit of suspended San Diego Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson today, but with trade demands too lofty for the Vikings' liking, they simply added recently released wideout Hank Baskett to their roster in an attempt to bolster a dysfunctional receiving corps.
The Chargers were apparently asking for a second- and third-round draft pick from the Vikings, who had a reported one-year, $6 million deal on the table for Jackson. But the Vikes wanted to make that third-round pick conditional based on whether Jackson would eventually sign a long-term deal to stay in Minnesota.
San Diego general manager A.J. Smith (aka "Lord of No Rings") was, not surprisingly, acting unreasonably in demanding a second- and third-round pick. Why would the Vikings—or any other team for that matter—give up second- and third-round draft picks with no guarantee Jackson would return to the team beyond this season? No team would be willing to take that kind of gamble with valuable draft selections and the Vikings were no exception, even in desperate times.
Jackson would later say the whole non-transaction felt "unethical" and expressed extreme displeasure with the way the Chargers handled the situation.
It's not out of the realm of possibility that Jackson could still be traded to the Vikings, but it isn't likely. He would not be available to play until Week 7 as opposed to Week 5 if he had been traded by today's 4 p.m. ET deadline. Today was the day to get the deal done.
As for Hank Baskett, the Vikings get another No. 4 caliber receiver. With true No. 1 receiver Sidney Rice rehabbing a hip injury until midseason, the Vikes are left with a group of cast-offs (Baskett, Greg Lewis, Greg Camarillo) alongside an ailing Percy Harvin and the slumping Bernard Berrian.
It doesn't make quarterback Brett Favre's job any easier when he can't find the confidence he needs in a go-to receiver. Whether that confidence develops with one of these aforementioned players is yet-to-be-seen. But it's going to need to happen in a hurry if the 0-2 Vikings are to eventually make a run at the playoffs.