Dissecting the Vincent Jackson Trade Drama

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Isn’t it only September? How often does the NFL see a case of “should I stay or should I go” this early in the calendar?

After dropping their first two games of 2010, the Minnesota Vikings are in panic mode. And it’s starting to sound as if panicked eyes are looking in one direction: toward San Diego wide receiver Vincent Jackson.

Jackson’s had a tumultuous season thus far. He’s been holdout of the Chargers squad (he didn’t even attend training camp) and there’s even been a substance-abuse suspension. So, is Jackson a match to become Brett Favre’s next passing weapon?

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ProFootballTalk reports that the Twitterverse is abuzz with talk that Minnesota and San Diego will agree to send the 2009 Pro-Bowl wideout to the Twin Cities. But as the Star Tribune notes, there are timing issues on all three sides of the potential transaction’s spectrum.

San Diego wants multiple draft picks, possibly as far as the 2012 season. Minnesota has doubts that Jackson’s arrival will result in a long-term stay. As for Jackson, he’s a talented receiver looking for more money, but handicapped by a behavioral transgression that has kept him off the field.

What is known — if a deal is not done by 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jackson will serve the full six games of his suspension. Three of those games came from the drug violation, while the other half resulted from his presence on the Chargers’ roster-exempt list — a special spot reserved for players engrossed in holdouts. Once a player relegated to that role ends his protest, he immediately faces a three-game penalty for missing team activities.

If the Vikings or any other team pulls off a deal by the afternoon deadline, the penalty would be reduced to four games.

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