Well, 4:00 p.m. Wednesday has come and gone and now that the “deadline” for Vincent Jackson’s trade has passed, Jackson can’t play until after October 17th. That date is also two days before the trade deadline in the NFL.
Is Chargers GM A.J. Smith a genius or an idiot? I’m sure he thinks he’s smart. He’ll take on anyone in a staring contest apparently. Either he thinks some team is going to really want Jackson and overpay, or he’s willing to chance that Jackson sits out the year and then walks. I understand not wanting to look weak and risking having other players pull the same stunt to get out of town. But Smith has already proven that he’s more than willing to play tough.
To be a really good GM, I think you need to look at things on a case by case basis. To me, Jackson clearly doesn’t want to play for the Chargers ever again. In fact, Yahoo’s Michael Silver has reported that Jackson’s agent plans to make sure that his next contract has an “inordinately low 2011 base salary”. So while A.J. Smith thinks he would get a third-round pick if Jackson walks, this cheaper contract would only net him a six or seventh-round pick. Jackson wants more money but he may be willing to take a lot less money for a year just to screw his old GM? Now that’s some serious spite. Sure, it could all just be a ploy. I mean, this did reportedly come from the mouth of an agent. Does anyone ever believe anything an agent says? Ever?
I just don’t think I’d take the chance. Cleveland just lost LeBron James and got nothing but a trade exception to show for it. If they had decided to trade him, imagine what they could have gotten in return. Granted, the people of Ohio might have been really pissed at the time. I’m thinking they’d be pretty ok with it right now though.
Smith turned down an offer from the Vikings that would have given the Chargers at least a second-round pick in 2011 and a conditional 2012 pick. However, if Brett Favre keeps playing like this, that conditional pick might suck. Still, if Smith can get a second-rounder and a decent player in return or fleece someone for a first-rounder, how does that not make the team better than just letting Jackson walk and taking your chance on getting a third-rounder at best?
As to where Jackson should go? I’d send him to the highest bidder and draft his replacement. But for Jackson, I’m sure he’d just rather play anywhere than sit out. The Vikings seem like a decent fit but they just signed Hank Baskett so they don’t really need anyone new. Ok, that last sentence was even hard to TYPE with a straight face. Hank Baskett does nothing for the Vikes and this is the last year (probably?) that they’ll have Favre. Getting Jackson gives them a proven receiver to use while Sidney Rice recovers and when Rice comes back, he just adds to the team. And when whoever takes over as QB next year will be placed into quite a position with Jackson (should he sign a new contract), Rice and Percy Harvin. Add Adrian Peterson as running back and I think most QBs would practically kill to be in that spot.
Every other team seems to have pulled their offers and I keep hearing that the Vikings were asking for the world. For all the money that the Vikings are giving Favre, I can’t imagine that they won’t do everything they can to make this season a success. Maybe the Vikings are hoping that Smith will now lower his asking price. With his track record so far, I’d say that they shouldn’t hold their breath.