Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson would have been an unrestricted free agent this March, but the lack of a new collective bargaining agreement means there is little chance that will happen now.
If a new CBA isn't agreed to by the NFL and the NFL Players Association -- and it's a long shot any sort of deal will be struck -- Jackson will be a restricted free agent on March 5. That's because in the NFL's new world he will need six years of service time (not four) to become unrestricted. It also means the Vikings will have the ability to match any offer Jackson might receive.
It's hard to say if Jackson will get offers, given his lack of playing time in 2009 and the fact his performance was up-and-down when he was given the chance to start in 2007 and 2008. Jackson recently wrote about the subject on his blog.
"I'm not sweating whether Brett [Favre] comes back or not because I'm a free agent," he wrote. "Depending on the collective bargaining agreement I'll either be restricted or unrestricted, just waiting to see. Right now I still feel like a Viking, but I'm just going to have to wait a while to find out what's going to happen."
Jackson might have only played in mop-up situations for Favre this season but he still felt great disappointment about the Vikings' loss to the Saints in the NFC Championship Game. In fact, Jackson said he had no desire to watch the Saints play the Colts in the Super Bowl.
"Usually I'm excited to watch the Super Bowl, but this year I couldn't have cared less," Jackson wrote. "I felt like, we got so close, we were supposed to win it. That should have been us. We know we could have done the same thing the Saints did in the Super Bowl, but they beat us and they're the champs."