The NFL has suspended San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson for three games for violating the league's personal-conduct policy, NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi confirmed through a league source Thursday.
NFL.com senior columnist Vic Carucci, citing league sources, reported that Jackson's suspension was handed down two weeks ago. Sources told Carucci that the NFL Players Association already has filed an appeal and is confident that the amount of games can be reduced.
A league spokesman had no comment on the matter and said Jackson's situation remains under review. Jackson's agent, Neil Schwartz, also declined to comment Thursday to The Associated Press.
Chargers general manager A.J. Smith didn't immediately return a phone call from The AP. However, sources told Carucci that the Chargers and other teams expected the suspension and don't believe it will affect contract negotiations or Jackson's trade value. Jackson's status with the Chargers has been in doubt because he hasn't yet signed his restricted free-agent tender.
In February, Jackson was sentenced to four days in jail and five years of probation after pleading guilty to a DUI charge stemming from a January 2009 arrest. In January of this year, Jackson was pulled over while on his way to the team's divisional playoff loss to the New York Jets and arrested for driving with a suspended license and an expired registration.
The 2009 arrest was Jackson's second for DUI since he joined the Chargers. He pleaded guilty after the first incident in 2006 and still was on probation when he was arrested again in January 2009. Because it was his second DUI conviction, Jackson was subject to the NFL's personal-conduct policy.
Jackson set career highs last season with 68 receptions for 1,167 yards and nine touchdowns, and he was selected to his first Pro Bowl. That production led to his desire for a long-term contract, but the Chargers offered only a one-year, $3.268 million tender that was reduced to $583,000 after he didn't sign it by the June 15 deadline. Sources told the San Diego Union-Tribune last month that Jackson might stay away from the team until after Week 10.
It's possible that Jackson's suspension could coincide with his holdout.
The rumors about Jackson's future are widespread and compelling. The Seattle Seahawks were one of the first teams linked to the receiver and are in "the best" position to land him, according to NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora. One team unlikely to join the pursuit is the Bears, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, because of the cost in both draft picks and a long-term contract.
The Washington Redskins have been rumored to be interested, and Mike Shanahan is known to have coveted Jackson during the 2005 NFL Draft when he was the Denver Broncos' coach. Also, NFL.com senior writer Steve Wyche reported Wednesday that Jackson has been working out with Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb in Arizona.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.