Vincent Jackson’s holdout to last into season?

The situation in San Diego involving Vincent Jackson and the Chargers is getting uglier by the day.

Earlier this offseason, the Chargers extended first and third round tenders on Jackson (a restricted free agent), meaning he would make just over $3 million in 2010. But Jackson wants a long-term contract and has decided to skip all of the team’s organized activities this offseason and is now prepared to sit out into the season if he doesn’t receive a new deal.

The Chargers, meanwhile, have issued a warning to the 27-year-old receiver and tackle Marcus McNeill (who is in a similar boat as Jackson) letting them know that their one-year tenders would be drastically reduced if they didn’t sign them by June 15.

What a threat. I’m sure Jackson and McNeill are currently huddled together in a corner somewhere, shaking uncontrollably at the thought of their tenders reducing from $3 to $1.5 million or whatever the Chargers have in mind. The two players want long-term deals, so threatening them with reduced offers isn’t going to do anything. That’s like telling a child that instead of having the opportunity to play with three crappy toys, he’ll only get the chance to play with one crappy toy if he doesn’t clean up his room. All the toys are crappy – he doesn’t want to play with any of them and therefore, the parent isn’t going to get what he or she wants in the end.

McNeill wants to be one of the highest paid tackles in the league, which is rather humorous given his run blocking production over the last couple of years. In other words, he isn’t worth that kind of money. But Jackson, on the other hand, is another story.

There may not have been a more productive receiver in the league last year in terms of downfield playmaking ability, first-down percentage and blocking than Jackson was. He also has a great work ethic and even though he has two DUIs under his belt, he isn’t anywhere close to being the headache that Brandon Marshall (who received a five-year, $47.3 million contract this offseason from the Dolphins) has been throughout his career. If there were any player worth giving a long-term contract to on the Chargers’ roster, it would be Jackson. (That doesn’t include quarterback Philip Rivers of course, who already has a long-term deal.)

That said, A.J. Smith won’t give in. He’s arguably the most stubborn general manager in the NFL and if Jackson doesn’t report to team camps, then Smith isn’t going to budge. Both sides appear ready to dig in their heels for a battle that could last well into the season.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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