Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Closing the book on Jackson

Posted by: under Vikings, Vikings offense Updated: September 22, 2010 - 8:20 PM

The NFL's trading deadline isn't until Oct. 19, so technically the San Diego Chargers could deal holdout wide receiver Vincent Jackson at any point before that date.

But it doesn't appear as if that will happen and the odds of Jackson ever landing in Minnesota have to be considered extremely remote now that today's 3 p.m. deadline has passed. If Jackson had been traded before that time, he could have played for his new team after sitting out four games. Now, he must miss six games -- or four more contests -- before being eligible to play for any club.

The Vikings became the main suitor for Jackson because they saw the 6-foot-5, Pro Bowl receiver as the perfect short-term replacement for the injured Sidney Rice. He could have stepped in Oct. 17 against Dallas and provided Favre with the big target he currently lacks. Yes, it might have taken Jackson time to learn the Vikings system but as we saw with Rice last season, if Favre likes a receiver he's going to be more than willing to make it up on the fly.

Minnesota reportedly was willing to give up a second-round pick in 2011 and also a conditional choice that would have gone to San Diego if Jackson had signed long-term with the Vikings. That wasn't going to happen but the second-rounder was better than the third-round pick the Chargers might get as a compensatory selection when Jackson walks as an unrestricted free agent.

Jackson is currently a restricted free agent and, insulted by the Chargers offer to him, has decided to holdout. It appears that San Diego general manager A.J. Smith is focused on making an example out of Jackson.

Why else would he turn down such a high draft choice, when faced with keeping a player who wants out? Smith reportedly wanted a second- and third-round pick for Jackson. The Vikings were smart to say no way to that, knowing that a one-year rental (or really 12-game rental) isn't worth that type of ransom.

Jackson's agent, Neil Schwartz, wasn't interested in saying what teams were interested in his client or how much they were willing to pay, but he had no trouble sharing how he felt about Smith and the Chargers. "Other general managers told me that A.J. was totally unreasonable to deal with," Schwartz said Wednesday. "In fact, multiple teams coined the phrase, ‘He’s the Lord of No Rings.’”

Schwartz has little faith that Jackson will escape San Diego during the 2010 season, meaning Oct. 19 will come and go with the wide receiver still sitting out. "I think as one of the teams has expressed to me, as he said, ‘The Lord of No Rings’ will squat on your kid’s rights,'" Schwartz said.

 

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