Chargers not actively shopping V-Jax now?

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17: Wide receiver Vincent Jackson #83 of the San Diego Chargers runs with the ball after a catch against the New York Jets during AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Qualcomm Stadium on January 17, 2010 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Despite a report by the San Diego Union-Tribune last week that stated the Chargers had put Vincent Jackson on the trade block, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is now stating that the team is not shopping the restricted free agent. Schefter even goes as far as to say that any trade is a “real longshot” at this point.

There’s no reason to doubt Schefter, but maybe GM A.J. Smith is trying to throw the media off while he continues to discuss Jackson with other teams. Or maybe the Chargers are serious and Jackson really isn’t going anywhere.

If it’s the latter, then V-Jax isn’t going to be too happy. The Chargers have already replaced his one-year tender of $3.268 million with a new, hard-stance figure of $583,000. He’s looking for a long-term deal, but Smith doesn’t want to invest big money in a player with two DUIs on his off-field resume and an upcoming three-game suspension. That’s not to suggest that Jackson is the Bolts’ version of Pacman Jones or even Brandon Marshall, but it’s hard to blame Smith for wanting V-Jax to stay out of trouble and produce on the field this year before giving him a multi-year deal heading into 2011.

Let’s not forget that the CBA situation is still in flux and that it’s restricting what teams can do in terms of giving players new deals. Look no farther then Indianapolis with Peyton Manning and Tennessee with Chris Johnson for more examples of teams wanting to wait until a new CBA deal is struck before handing out long-term contracts.

In the end, Jackson may have to bite the bullet and play on his tender (the first one for $3.268 million, which the Chargers could adjust back to once he agrees to play) this year before seeking a long-term deal after the season. I know he’d rather set his face on fire than do that, but what are his options if the Chargers don’t intend on trading him? Holdout for most of the season? How would that look to other teams and why would they want to invest big money in a player that basically says that his contract is more important than playing? (I know it’s more complicated then that, but that’s how some teams would view the situation.)

Jackson’s hands looked like they’re tied.

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