In the end, Vincent Jackson’s situation was rather predictable.
The player’s union has been telling agents for months that players who held out will be unrestricted free agents after season, even if they sat out all of 2010. However, players still have to be on the roster for six games in order to get an accrued season and thus become unrestricted.
That’s why it isn’t surprising to hear that V-Jax will report to the Chargers by the end of the month. He wants a new contract and if he holds out all year, he may never get one because he would still be under the Chargers and GM A.J. Smith’s thumb. If he’s on the roster for six games, he becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and then he can seek his millions elsewhere.
But nobody really wins here. People will say that Jackson and his agent got one over on Smith, but the GM isn’t dumb – he knows what they were going to do and I doubt he even cares at this point. Smith has made it clear that Jackson has no future with the Chargers so he might as well sign off on his return (Smith has to agree to Jackson returning to the roster), get six weeks out of him (Jackson isn’t eligible to return until Week 12) and then bid him ado at the end of the year.
What happens if Jackson blows out his knee in the final six games of the season? Then what would have this all been about? What if other teams have been turned off by the way he handled things in San Diego? Then there wouldn’t be a big market for him and thus, he may have to accept less than what he and his agent think he’s worth.
V-Jax may get his big contract next year but as of this moment, he rolled the dice and he came up snake eyes – for everyone.