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Chargers not ruling out Vincent Jackson, yet

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It has widely been reported that the Chargers won’t use the franchise tag on receiver Vincent Jackson for a second straight year.  And for good reason.

Jackson made $11.424 million via the franchise tag in 2011.  Under the CBA, he’s entitled to a 20-percent raise if the Chargers use it again.  And that equates to $13.7 million for 2012.

Or, in other words, 11 percent of the unadjusted salary cap for the coming season.  For one player.

On Thursday, G.M. A.J. Smith didn’t rule out the possibility of applying the tag.  “We have the ability to franchise him although that figure is high,” Smith told Alex Marvez and Bill Polian of SiriusXM NFL Radio.  “I don’t particularly like the option because we have different plans and that’s a big [cap] hit.  But we’d love to have him back.”

It ordinarily would make sense for a team to use the threat of the franchise tag when talking about a long-term deal with a player.  But Jackson’s expected pay under the franchise tender provides a very high starting point for talks.  With $13.7 million due under the tag this year and the number rising to 144 percent of his 2012 pay if the Chargers tag him for a third time in 2013, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for Jackson’s camp to expect more than $30 million over the first two years of a multi-season contract.

And so it’s not surprising that, as Jason La Canfora of NFL.com reports, “[p]eople close to Jackson” (i.e., his agents) believe that the tag is coming.  They want the tag.  No one else will pay Jackson $13.7 million in 2012, especially with so many receivers on the open market.

Jackson is already 29, and even though Smith told Marvez and Polian that the team no longer is concerned about Jackson’s history of off-field issues, Jackson still has a history of off-field issues, which could affect his value in the eyes of other teams, especially if those other teams are considering free-agent receivers who don’t have a history of off-field issues.

And so “people close to Jackson” likely suspect that the Chargers ultimately will pay Jackson more than any other team.  Especially if the Chargers can be coaxed into using the franchise tag on him again.

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13 Responses to “Chargers not ruling out Vincent Jackson, yet”
  1. joetoronto says: Feb 24, 2012 7:03 AM

    If anybody can screw this up again, it’s AJ Smith.

  2. tomsd1 says: Feb 24, 2012 7:15 AM

    Can somebody just shoot The Lord of NO Rings – pleeeeeezzzzzzz. :)

  3. tomsd1 says: Feb 24, 2012 7:20 AM

    Jackson is the best of the remaining free agent receivers – by far – and he’s a big, fast, 6-5″ 230 lb WR with great hands – who can run like a deer after a catch – by DB’s or just run over the much smaller DB’s.

    And he hasn’t had any real off field issues for over 3 years. That’s just a complete red herring.

    He will get big offers from other teams, such as Seattle, San Francisco, and more have serious interest.

    If the Chargers don’t re-sign him – it’s not really surprising as the owner – De-anna Spanos – is a Country Club wuss and The Lord of NO Rings is an over his head promoted tyrant – whom none of the players like.

    Funny how many players leave SD and still have great NFL careers – isn’t it? Or really sad if you are a Charger fan.

  4. sj39 says: Feb 24, 2012 7:53 AM

    The only way he stays a Charger is if they franchise him. I’m sure he would like the 13.7 mil but he also would like to win.

  5. FinFan68 says: Feb 24, 2012 8:16 AM

    He is a good receiver but he has a bad attitude. He hasn’t had any off-field issues lately but that is likely because he doesn’t have this last “big deal” yet. There is a high likelihood that he signs his deal and the alcohol issue happens again followed by a suspension. Not worth the gamble at a high price.

  6. havok82 says: Feb 24, 2012 9:33 AM

    After all the talk about Mike Wallace (and I think the Steelers are being short-sighted here by trying to tag him), you forget about Jackson. He’s big and fast. He has some off-field issues, but he’s still talented as hell and has at least 5-6 more years in him. Wallace is younger and probably faster, but I think I’d rather have Jackson because of his size. He is a matchup nightmare. AJ Smith is the stupidest GM in the league, so he probably tags him, but they should let him walk. They need to reload there and they are more than one piece from a legit SB run.

  7. highscoring says: Feb 24, 2012 9:37 AM

    Really hoping the chargers let him go so my bears can pick him up.. Wishful thinking tho

  8. waltdawg says: Feb 24, 2012 10:15 AM

    Hello Mr Snyder,

    I hear that you can pay me and that you have a plan at QB and OL…I like the sound of all of that.

    I will play for you.

    VJax

  9. xpensivewinos says: Feb 24, 2012 10:25 AM

    The off-field issues are a bit of a red herring at this point………….the thing teams should be concerned with is how Jackson can just totally vaporize over the course of an entire game. That shouldn’t happen with a guy as skilled as this. He’s too dominant physically to be shut down, so that calls effort in to question. He also has lapses during games that make you scratch your head. The more you watch him, you see that he has a lot of holes in his game.

    Same can be said for a lot of players, but while he is a stud, his game is far from perfect.

  10. tomsd1 says: Feb 24, 2012 10:59 AM

    FinFan68 is really a plant from the Chargers Front Office. :)

  11. icanspeel says: Feb 24, 2012 8:16 PM

    They are really just seeing what other receivers are doing and how interested other teams are in Jackson up until the deadline. It wouldn’t make sense to franchise him, unless some team was crazy enough to still make an offer at him or unless the franchise tag just buys time to negotiate a contract, but how willing would he be for that if he is already making that much being franchised?

  12. tomsd1 says: Feb 24, 2012 9:31 PM

    “Crazy” enough to sign one of the top 5 receivers in the game? Are ye daft?????????????

    Just let VJ get on the open market and he will be gone like a flash.

  13. oside760 says: Feb 25, 2012 1:56 PM

    i dont even like to follow news on the chargers now. i just wanna wait til the season starts to see how they’re gonna be again

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