With Nnamdi Asomugha cashing in with the Eagles and receiver DeSean Jackson holding out for a long-term deal of his own, the question of when Jackson must show up to receive credit for his all-important fourth accrued season becomes critical.
The 2011 Transition Rules that were developed by the NFL and presented to the NFLPA for Monday’s vote approving the new labor deal provide as follows on this point: “The deadline for any player under contract to report to his Club shall be the twenty-third day of the 2011 League Year. If he has not reported by that date, he shall not be eligible to earn an Accrued Season for the 2011 League Year, subject to a demonstration of extreme personal hardship as set forth in Article 8, Section 1(b).”
With the 2011 League Year expected to start on August 4, this provision means that Jackson could stay away for more than four more weeks without losing the ability to become an unrestricted free agent in 2012.
But the official NFL calendar states that the deadline is August 9, more than two weeks earlier.
We’ve asked for the NFL to clarify these two directly conflicting provisions on Thursday morning. We’ve been told an answer is coming. When we get it, we’ll pass it along.
The issue also applies to Titans running back Chris Johnson. But since he’s under contract for two more years, it doesn’t matter whether he gets his fourth accrued season in 2011 or 2012. Either way, he’s not due to become an unrestricted free agent until 2013.
For Jackson, the issue becomes very important, very soon.
Unless the next trick the Eagles have up their sleeves is a new deal for DeSean.