Chargers to use the franchise tag on Vincent Jackson?

Fans hoping that their favorite team had a shot at acquiring free agent Vincent Jackson this offseason may have to wait another year. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Jackson expects the Chargers to use their franchise tag on him in 2011.

Jackson, according to someone familiar with the player’s thinking, expects the tag and plans to play for the more than $10 million it would guarantee him.

That is, if the franchise tag is part of a new CBA.

The NFL Players Association says teams have no right to a franchise tag since the current Collective Bargaining Agreement will expire March 3. The NFL says the franchise tag is included in the CBA under which the league is operating.

I have to side with the NFLPA on this one. If the current CBA deal is set to expire March 3, then how is it fair that teams can use their franchise tags for the 2011 season when the current contract applied to the 2010 season? I get that the NFL wants to keep things business as usual because it believes that a new deal will eventually be worked out. But how about the league just work on getting a new deal in place before worrying about whether or not teams can use their franchise tags. If the owners and NFLPA agree to a new CBA deal, then everything can go back to normal and all of this becomes a moot point.

Getting back to Jackson, his situation comes down to money. He sat out most of last season because the Chargers were only willing to pay him for one year at $3.2 million. If he’s tagged for the 2011 season, he’ll make roughly $10 million for one year and then the Chargers can let him walk in 2012 while accepting a future compensatory draft pick.

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