Is Vincent Jackson’s career with the Chargers over?

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 3:  Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson of the San Diego Chargers watches from the sidelines during the Washington Redskins v San Diego Chargers NFL Game on January 3, 2010 at Quolcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 23-20. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Kevin Acce of the San Diego Union-Tribune hints that receiver Vincent Jackson may not play another down for the Chargers.

If Jackson is not signed by 3 p.m. Saturday, his Roster Exempt status means he will be out for six games. That won’t preclude a trade, because the trading deadline is the Tuesday after the sixth game. But his limited availability for 2010 will take down the compensation both Jackson and the Chargers could expect.

People close to Jackson have long indicated, despite rhetoric he was only interested in a multi-year deal — that he would play for a one-season contract that paid him in line with the top 10 receivers in the NFL. Maybe he’ll take that deal from another team, though that would likely bring down even further the price the Chargers could fetch in trade, because Jackson’s new team wouldn’t be assured of having him more than this season.

And, as we all know, Smith will not be compelled to make a trade he doesn’t feel is best for the Chargers.

Although not surprising with Smith in charge, it’s rather amazing how this situation continues to unravel. Last year, Jackson was arguably the most productive receiver in the NFL in terms of his pass catching, deep threat and run-blocking abilities. Now it appears that he may not play at all in 2010.

There’s still time for the two sides to come together on an agreement, but Jackson’s camp and Smith both appear to have dug their heels in long ago. If Jackson is going to play for the Bolts this season, one of the two sides will have to cave.

And that doesn’t appear to be likely.

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NFL suspends Jackson for three games

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the NFL has suspended Chargers’ restricted free agent Vincent Jackson for three games this season. The suspension stems from the receiver’s two DUIs, although it can also be appealed.

Earlier this week I discussed possible trade partners for Jackson if the Chargers eventually decide to deal him. He has already stated his intentions to hold out if GM A.J. Smith doesn’t abide by his wishes for a new contract, or trades him to a team that will invest in him long-term.

Interestingly, Schefter also reports that even if Jackson follows through with his holdout threats, the suspension will still start in Week 1 no matter what. If that’s the case (there’s no reason to doubt Schefter), then it gives V-Jax all the more reason to follow through with his holdout, seeing as how he won’t be playing the first couple of weeks anyway. He could ultimately holdout through training camp on the first couple of weeks to see if the Chargers offer him a long-term deal and then make his decision before Week 4.

That said, no matter what Jackson does, Smith isn’t going to give in. He’s a hard-nosed executive that doesn’t bow to plays threats or demands. If he wants Jackson to play on a one-year tender, then that’s probably the receiver’s best and only option. We’ll just have to wait and see if either side gives in, although my money is on Smith standing firm.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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