Vincent Jackson has had his hearing and the verdict is in: The Chargers receiver, who is currently suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, will be eligible to play in the fifth game of any team he is traded to. If he is untraded, his suspension will be for six games.
This is significant news for the Vikings, who are believed to be interested in swinging a deal for the talented wide-out. Originally, it was feared that Jackson’s total suspension would be set at six games regardless of whether he was traded, per some wacked-out rule involving his roster exempt status.
The NFLPA didn’t like this roster exempt crap, and argued that Jackson’s three-game suspension should end after three games (seems reasonable). After the hearing today, the union and the league hunkered down and hammered out the 4 if traded, 6 if not agreement.
If the Vikings were to trade for Jackson now, he would be able to play in week 6, a home game against the Cowboys and the Vikings’ fifth game of the season (with the bye week in there). He would miss two home games and one tough road game against the Jets.
So, the question now must be asked: Does it make sense to trade for Jackson if you know you won’t be able to use him until a full quarter of the season has elapsed? Keeping in mind that Sidney Rice won’t be back until after the mid-point of the season, and even then, won’t be at full-speed.
Also, remember that Jackson has some pretty large contract demands, and may have no interest in joining a team that doesn’t want to sign him for the long term. The Chargers are believed to want at least a second round draft pick for Jackson, who last season had nearly 1200 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Update: Specific details about the Jackson compromise are now being released. According to Judd Zulgad, any team that wants to acquire Jackson and have him be eligible for the fifth game must make the trade before a September 22nd deadline. Per Chip Scoggins, if Jackson is traded before this deadline, he will be allowed to practice starting week 4. Brain hurt yet?