Adding Vincent Jackson could be a mistake for Vikings long-term

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

The Minnesota Vikings are faced with quite a dilemma.

It’s optimistic to think that Sidney Rice is going to return to action by Week 8 or 9 following hip surgery. Some say he’ll be out for half the year, while others think he’ll miss the entire season.

I happen to fall into the latter category, which is why I understand the Vikings’ desire to trade for Vincent Jackson.

Thanks to their fickle 40-year-old quarterback, Minnesota’s window to win a Super Bowl is closing by the second. They know they have a hole at receiver and they know V-Jax could fill it. But a deal is contingent upon an arbitrator ruling that Jackson will avoid the Roster Exempt list, making him eligible to play in Week 4 following his three-game suspension.

If the ruling goes against Jackson, he’ll have to sit out three more weeks. But even if the ruling goes in his favor, would the Vikings be doing the right thing for their future?

Rice is only 24 and even if he winds up missing the entire season, he’s going to be back next year. The same goes for Percy Harvin, who is only in his second year.

The Vikings proved last year that a combination of Rice, Harvin and Bernard Berrian (who signed a six-year, $43.4 million contract in 2008) is more then sufficient to compete for a playoff berth (assuming they have a decent quarterback, of course). If they add Jackson, they’re going to have to give him a contract extension because after all, why part with multiple draft picks and not making him a part of your long-term plans?

A foursome of Rice, Jackson, Harvin and Berrian would be pretty lethal, but don’t forget that there’s only one ball. This isn’t fantasy football – the Vikings still have an entire roster to think about and it wouldn’t be wise to soak that much money into one position (especially receiver).

That said, I understand the Vikings’ dilemma. They need a receiver now so that they can win now. Jackson is the best available and certainly worth the compensation, but this is a move that could wind up costing the team in other areas down the road. Don’t forget that they still have issues in their secondary and also have an offensive line that is aging. So will they be willing to potentially sacrifice their future to win now? And what if they don’t win? What happens if they build this great receiving corps and Tarvaris Jackson winds up being the one that has to get them the ball?

I have a headache.

With the news that V-Jax might have his suspension reduced, owners who already have him on the roster should hold onto him through the weekend to see if things break his way. If V-Jax is available for cheap in your league and you can acquire him without cutting anyone of note, take a flier on him and see what happens in the next week.

If he lands in Minnesota, it will be a big boost to Brett Favre’s value. I don’t know how much time Jackson will need to get acclimated, as he’ll probably take over the role of Sidney Rice, catching all of those deep balls that Favre chucks downfield. I don’t think it really hurts Percy Harvin or anyone else on the Minnesota roster, save for Bernard Berrian, who will be relegated to backup duty.

If Jackson lands in St. Louis, it will likely hurt Mark Clayton, Laurent Robinson and Danny Amendola. All three currently have some value in PPR leagues, but there won’t be enough targets in St. Louis to support four fantasy wideouts. Sam Bradford would definitely benefit by having a bona fide WR1 to throw to.

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