The NFLPA has asked Special Master Stephen Burbank to resolve whether the Chargers’ placement of receiver Vincent Jackson on the roster exempt list transfers to his new team, if/when he’s trade, which would knock Jackson out for the first six weeks of the season. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that that matter could be resolved by Burbank within the next week.
The NFL believes that the three-week roster exemption attaches to the three-week substance-abuse suspension, since Jackson cannot “report” to the Chargers or any other team while serving his three-game suspension. The union believes that the placement on the roster exempt list does not follow Jackson to his next team, if/when he’s traded.
Working in the player’s favor is the fact that Burbank and his boss, U.S. District Judge David Doty, have a history of siding with the union. At one point, the situation became so bad that the NFL tried to have Doty disqualified as the judicial officer overseeing the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which in actuality is the settlement agreement reached in the class-action antitrust lawsuit filed against the league after the failed 1987 strike.
If Jackson and the union prevail, the Chargers could then continue to talk with the team that reportedly struck a one-year deal with Jackson on Saturday, but that was unable to work out terms of compensation with the Chargers. Acee reports that neither the Rams nor the Seahawks were the unknown team that had a deal in place with Jackson’s agents, but Acee believes it was an NFC team. (The Redskins and Vikings would be the prime candidates, in our view.)
So stay tuned. Jackson could be playing for someone else as soon as Week Four, or possibly by Week Seven. Either way, it’s looking more and more likely that he’ll never play for the Chargers again.