San Diego Chargers  

 

Agent: Chargers aren't acting like they want to trade Jackson

Vincent Jackson's agent, Neil Schwartz, said Wednesday he isn't sure the San Diego Chargers really want to trade his client, despite granting the Seattle Seahawks permission to negotiate a deal with the Pro Bowl wide receiver.

Schwartz reiterated that he has been granted permission to talk to only one team, the Seahawks, and league sources continue to say there hasn't been any progress and nothing is imminent.

Schwartz said after news broke that the Chargers granted the Seahawks permission to speak with Jackson last week, other NFL teams assumed the receiver was free to talk to anyone, as would normally be the case.

"After the initial story came out, I got calls from four or five other teams asking about Vincent," Schwartz said, "but I told them I didn't have permission to talk to them about that player and they had to call San Diego."

Schwartz didn't reveal which teams called him, but The San Diego Union-Tribune, citing league and agent sources, reported Wednesday that the Vikings were interested but balked at Jackson's demands for a five-year, $50 million contract with $30 million guaranteed.

The Vikings said no thanks and on Tuesday signed free agent Javon Walker.

Schwartz said he called Chargers vice president Ed McGuire seeking clarity on Jackson's status and asked permission "to try to facilitate a trade." Schwartz said McGuire declined and said the agent could only speak with the Seahawks and added there were certain teams to which the Chargers wouldn't deal Jackson.

"I asked for that list of teams, but he wouldn't tell me," Schwartz said. "So I asked him, 'What are you guys asking for a trade?' And he said, 'I'm not telling you.'

"At that point, I said, 'Ed. It doesn't sound like you guys want to trade Vincent.'"

Schwartz said he didn't discuss specific financial terms with the Seahawks or make any demands in terms of guaranteed money. Instead, Schwartz said they spoke generally about some of the top receiver contracts -- Roddy White (who is represented by Schwartz), Roy Williams, Lee Evans, Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald -- and how Jackson might compare with some of those players, but talks didn't get more specific than that.

Jackson and Pro Bowl left tackle Marcus McNeill, both restricted free agents, have skipped all Chargers offseason workouts and training-camp practices while seeking long-term deals. The team tendered both players one-year contracts valued at more than $3 million. Those tenders were reduced by more than $2.5 million when the duo didn't sign by June 15.

This past weekend, the Chargers placed Jackson and McNeill on the roster exempt list, meaning they can't play for three games after the date they sign and report.

The NFL released a statement Monday saying that Jackson would have to serve the three-game roster-exempt suspension if he isn't traded or doesn't report to the Chargers by Sept. 4. But Schwartz said Wednesday that he reviewed the matter with NFL Players Association officials, and they analyzed the collective bargaining agreement and don't agree with that interpretation.

"We don't see it the way the league sees it," Schwartz said.

Schwartz said the NFLPA's interpretation of the case wouldn't be as restrictive, if, hypothetically, Jackson was traded after the Sept. 4 deadline in which 53-man rosters are set. The league said Jackson -- who already must serve a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy -- would have to serve the roster-exempt suspension as well if he reports to any team after Sept. 4.

Given the difference in opinion, the matter could end up as an expedited case on which the special master must rule.

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