The Vikings tried hard to acquire Vincent Jackson and it sounds as if Washington also made a late bid. But neither team was successful in its quest to obrain the Pro Bowl wide receiver.
The 3 p.m. deadline by which Jackson had to be traded has passed and he remains property of the San Diego Chargers. Jackson still can be dealt but he now will have to sit out the first six games of the season instead of the first four for any team. Jackson is serving a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy and three games because he was placed on the roster-exempt list by the Chargers.
Jackson, a restricted free agent, has been holding out and refuses to play for the Chargers. The second part of his suspension had been cut to one game, provided Jackson was dealt by 3 p.m. today.
This will make a major difference in how much compensation a team would be willing to give up for him. The Vikings reportedly were prepared to surrender a second-round pick in 2011 and also a conditional choice. However, the Chargers wanted second- and third-round picks in 2011 -- an asking price the Vikings felt was simply too high for a player they likely would have only rented for one season.
"[Those picks] are your bartering tool," Vikings coach Brad Childress said when asked about the value of draft picks. "That's how you build with younger talent and if you do something for a guy like a Jared Allen [who was obtained from Kansas City in 2008], you want to know that what you're giving is commensurate with what you're getting."
Jackson's agent, Neil Schwartz, told the Associated Press the legal language with one team was already drawn up and ready for Jackson to read and sign. That was a one-year deal with an option, with an average salary of more than $9 million. Schwartz would not identify that team, but it was believed to be the Vikings.
Schwartz, also told the website ProFootballTalk that he had worked out an acceptable contract for his client with more than one team but nothing could get done because of the demands made by San Diego General Manager A.J. Smith. "Other general managers, felt that the Chargers were being totally unreasonable," Schwartz told PFT.
Jackson, who is 6-foot-5, was seen as a potential replacement for 6-4 wide receiver Sidney Rice, who is expected to miss the first half of the season after having hip surgery.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Hank Baskett, who was signed by the Vikings this morning after being let go by Philadelphia on Tuesday, practiced with the team Wednesday. Baskett signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2006 but was quickly traded to the Eagles.
"I didn’t expect to go back to Philly this year," said Baskett, who spent last season with the Colts after being let go by the Eagles for the first time. "That’s why my dad always raised me to never burn any bridges because you never know where you can end up, especially in this job. The fact that the Vikings have invited me back says a lot and I truly appreciate Coach Childress and the team for a second opportunity here."
Baskett's addition is a necessary one because the Vikings are shorthanded at wide receiver. Percy Harvin, already slowed by a strained right hip, did not practice on Wednesday in part because he suffered another migraine headache. Harvin had been optimistic that his issue with sleep apnea was a main reason he was suffering from migraines so this latest one is a definite setback.
Also, Bernard Berrian, who has only three catches for 27 yards in two games, has landed on the injury report because of a knee injury. Berrian was seen walking gingerly off the practice field on Wednesday.
- Here is the Vikings' injury report: WR Harvin (hip, illness), did not participate; WR Berrian (knee), limited; CB Cedric Griffin (knee), limited); LB Ben Leber (back), limited; CB Chris Cook (knee), full participation; DT Jimmy Kennedy (knee), full participation; OT Bryant McKinnie (finger), full participation; C John Sullivan (calf), full participation; QB Brett Favre (ankle), full participation.
- Leber appeared to be in great pain after injuring his back last Sunday against Miami but was much improved Monday and said Wednesday that he will be able to go against the Lions. The fact Cook participated fully in practice Wednesday could mean he's set to make his NFL regular-season debut after missing the opening two games after having surgery on the torn meniscus in his right knee. He was injured in the Vikings' third preseason game.
- Here is the Lions' injury report: WR Nate Burleson (ankle), DNP; S Louis Delmas (groin, biceps, calf), DNP; LB Zack Follett (concussion), DNP; G Stephen Peterman (foot), DNP; QB Matthew Stafford (right shoulder), DNP; DE Cliff Avril (knee, finger), limited; S C.C. Brown (forearm), limited; LB DeAndre Levy (groin), limited.