San Diego holdout wide receiver Vincent Jackson can play in the fifth game of the season for any team he is traded to.
The resolution comes after negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA on Thursday and should now clear the way for the Chargers to deal the disgruntled veteran. The issue had been that between a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy and a three-game suspension that kicked in because Jackson was placed on the roster-exempt list he technically had to sit out six games. (He will still have to miss six games if the Chargers keep his rights, but the reality is if San Diego doesn't deal Jackson he will probably sit out the entire season.)
The NFLPA argued, however, that Jackson should not have to sit out three games on the roster-exempt list if he is traded because the team that acquired him wouldn't have put him on that list.
The question becomes are the Vikings the possible landing destination for Jackson? There has been plenty of speculation about that, given that Minnesota is without wide receiver Sidney Rice for at least half the season, but the Vikings and the Jackson camp have both been very quiet on the matter.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that three teams have been given official permission to speak to Jackson's agents and that Seattle and St. Louis are two of them. It's believed the Vikings are the third.
It's been rumored the Vikings might have been the unknown team that had a one-year deal for $7 million plus incentives worked out with Jackson on Sept. 4. That fell apart because the Chargers and the unknown team could not reach an agreement on compensation. The Vikings made a call about Jackson in August but lost interest at that time because of his asking price for a long-term deal.
Among the interesting things about the below statement from the NFL is that there is now a moratorium that will be in effect until 3 p.m. (Twin Cities time) on Friday. San Diego may not trade Jackson until after the moratorium has expired.
As for when he can practice, Jackson would be eligible to practice during the Vikings' bye week after the third game and in the week prior to the Vikings game against the Jets in Week 5. He could not, however, play against the Jets.
- Jackson remains suspended for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse for the first three games of the regular season.
- If Jackson signs a contract with San Diego and is traded by 3 p.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 22, he will be placed on the Commissioner Exempt list for three games, retroactive to game two of the season. This means that if Jackson is traded by the Sept. 22 deadline, he will be available to play for his new club beginning with the new club’s fifth game.
- If Jackson is not traded by 3 p.m., on Sept. 22, he will serve the remainder of his three-game suspension and be placed on roster exempt until the day following the third game scheduled after the date he actually reports, regardless of any subsequent trade.
- As part of the settlement, a moratorium will be in effect from now until 3 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 17. During the moratorium, any club interested in trading for Jackson must receive advance permission from the Chargers before speaking with Jackson’s representatives about possible contract terms. Trade compensation must be negotiated directly with the Chargers. San Diego may not trade Jackson until after the moratorium has expired.
- If Jackson is traded before the Sept. 22 deadline, he will be allowed to report to the new club and, at the discretion of the club, be eligible to participate in those activities permitted by the Substances of Abuse Policy for the remainder of his suspension. After the third game of Jackson’s suspension, he will be permitted to practice with the new club pursuant to the roster exempt rules in the week prior to the new club’s fourth regular-season game, but will be unavailable to play, and cannot be paid, until the fifth game (as stated in the second bullet-point above).