It’s becoming more clear that, if the Chargers keep receiver Vincent Jackson, it won’t happen via application of the franchise tag for a second straight season.
Kevin Acee of whatever the newspaper in San Diego now calls itself reports that Jackson’s agents recently met with the team, and that the agents were told that use of the franchise tag on Jackson is “improbable.” Given that it would cost the Chargers $13.7 million in 2012 to use the tag on Jackson, it’s no surprise.
Jason La Canfora of NFL Network recently reported that sources close to Jackson expect the tag to be used. We deemed it to be wishful thinking by Jackson’s camp. Though Jackson will draw interest if/when he hits the open market, Jackson won’t get a deal elsewhere worth anything close to $13.7 million per year.
Acee writes that the Chargers are believed to be willing to pay Jackson an annual amount in the range of $10-11 million, but that the Chargers are willing to let other teams set the market.
And so this is one of the unusual situations in which tampering can actually help the team that otherwise holds exclusive negotiating rights with a player. If Jackson’s agents realize over the next two weeks that other teams aren’t willing to pay as much or more than the Chargers, the Chargers could lock Jackson up before the free-agency frenzy begins.
Coincidentally, Jackson’s future was one of the topics during the Chargers’ 2012 “to-do” list from PFT Live.