Wednesday afternoon, the deadline will expire for a team to make a trade for Vincent Jackson and still have him be available for their fifth game. After tomorrow at 3 PM central, Jackson will have to sit out a full six games, even if he is traded.
Reports are that the Vikings are actively pursuing Jackson, a process that would involve working out a trade with the Chargers and a contract with the player. The Vikings are believed to have offered Jackson a 1-year, $6 million deal before the season, but the trade fell through because the Chargers asked for too much in return.
The hope was that, with the season underway and Jackson still not budging on his hold-out, the Chargers would get a little more desperate and lower their asking price. That hope, however, doesn’t look very realistic. According to Jay Glazer, Chargers GM A.J. Smith is determined not to get fleeced in any trade, and is willing to sit on Jackson for the whole season if need be. The Chargers, say Glazer, want “multiple” high draft picks for the receiver.
That sounds like a steep price for a guy you might get only 12 games out of. However, with Sidney Rice out until at least the mid-point of the season and Percy Harvin suffering from a nagging hip injury, the Vikings might just be desperate enough to pull the trigger anyway. If they can work out a long-term deal with Jackson, their willingness to surrender more than one high pick might go up.
Of course, it’s possible the Vikings have no desire to sign Jackson to a long-term deal. He is, after all, suspended, and would face even sterner discipline should his personal issues continue to crop up. The Vikings did get lucky taking such a gamble with Jared Allen, but of course, Jackson is a completely different guy with a completely different situation. Also, money starts to get tight, what with Sidney Rice and Adrian Peterson also in line for very large contract extensions.
And then there’s the question of whether Jackson would even want to sign with the Vikings long-term. Jackson certainly knows that Brett Favre will not be here after this year, and I’m guessing the prospect of playing with Joe Webb in 2011 isn’t exactly enticing to an established veteran like him. Come right down to it, a one-year deal might be all either side is looking for. In which case, more than one high draft pick would seem like far too much to surrender in exchange.
So, it begins to look like Jackson swooping in to save the season is a remote prospect at best. Instead, we will have to count on the guys we have – a somewhat scary proposition to anyone who has watched the Vikings’ passing game sputter and stumble its way through the first two games.