Jackson has yet to sign his one-year restricted free-agent tender and reportedly doesn't intend to do so any time soon, threatening a holdout that could last well into the regular season.
Bringing in a receiver during camp or especially during the season can be tricky, but Jackson does have some familiarity with the Redskins. He worked out extensively with Donovan McNabb this month in Arizona, running routes and catching balls from the new Redskins quarterback, according to sources. The Redskins -- who have a need at receiver -- are quite interested in Jackson, and his workouts with McNabb only enhanced that sentiment.
Recent draft picks Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly were again offseason flops for the Redskins, according to team sources, and neither is considered to be guaranteed a roster spot. In fact, both face a real possibility of being cut. Beyond an aging and injury-prone Santana Moss, the Redskins have journeymen Mike Furrey and Joey Galloway -- veterans on short-term deals. They don't have any young, ready receivers and lack a large target like Jackson, as well as someone who can go downfield.
The Redskins are always willing to trade picks for established players, and Daniel Snyder is as willing as any owner in the NFL to pay top dollar when acquiring players seeking new contracts.
New Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is building a team to try to win now and already has taken on several veterans, so the potential for a deal is there. But again, the Chargers must be willing to deal Jackson, and that hasn't been the case. Chargers general manager A.J. Smith is known as one of the more rugged and stubborn customers in the business.
Jackson remains prepared to sit out the entire season rather than play for his tender of less than $600,000, according to a source close to the player, and there hasn't been any movement toward him receiving a long-term deal from the Chargers.
Sitting out a year isn't something Jackson fears. Watching Dez Bryant, for instance, essentially miss a year of college football and still be taken in the first round of the draft by the Dallas Cowboys gives Jackson confidence that there still will be a market for his services if he sits. The risk of being seriously hurt while playing on such a small tender is too much of a deterrent, according to the source.
The Chargers could end up holding Jackson's rights in 2011 by placing a franchise tag on him if that mechanism still exists in a new collective bargaining agreement. But that figure likely would be around $10 million. It wouldn't solve this problem long-term, but it's obviously considerably more money than Jackson's current tender.