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Jackson's suspension reduced from six games to four if he is traded

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Posted Sept. 16, 2010 @ 2:37 p.m. ET
By PFW staff

Updated Sept. 16, 2010 @ 8:29 p.m. ET

Disgruntled Chargers WR Vincent Jackson had a small victory in his hearing with the NFL on Thursday. The NFL and the NFL Players Association reached a settlement that will allow Jackson to miss only one additional game if he is traded to another team, instead of the three required with his roster-exemption status.

Jackson, who already had been suspended for three games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy following a pair of drunken-driving arrests, challenged the additional three-game suspension he would have received because the Chargers had placed him on their roster-exempt list as a result of his holdout. By being placed on the list, Jackson would have been required to sit out another three games, for a total of six, if he remained with the Chargers. But he got it reduced to a total of four games if he is traded to another team.

Jackson's argument was that if he is traded, he should not have to sit out an additional three games because the Chargers, not his potential new team, put him on the roster-exempt list. For potential suitors, the appeal victory means they would get him for as many as 12 games this season instead of 10.

"We got two-thirds of what we wanted, and Vincent is very happy with that," NFLPA attorney Richard Berthelsen told Yahoo's Jason Cole.

According to the terms of the agreement, Jackson has to sign a contract with the Chargers and get traded by 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 22, in which case he will be available to play for his new club beginning with the new club's fifth game, and he could practice with the team after its third game. If he is not traded by that deadline, he will have to serve the three-game substance-abuse suspension and the additional three games for being placed on roster-exempt list.

There is a moratorium from now until 4 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 17. During the moratorium, any club interested in trading for Jackson must receive advance permission from the Chargers before speaking with Jackson's representatives about possible contract terms.

Jackson had 68 catches for 1,167 yards and nine touchdowns in 2009. He has been absent from all of training camp, the preseason and the season opener while holding out for a new contract.

Reports have indicated the Vikings are a potential trade option for Jackson.

The way we see it

This is a win for Jackson as he is now more desirable to suitors not willing to wait six games for him to play. Another team is not only more likely to trade for Jackson if he can play two games sooner, but it might be more likely to offer the six-year veteran a larger contract. The Vikings, who are without top WR Sidney Rice until at least Week Eight, would have a very dynamic offense with the 6-5, 230-pound Jackson on the field. If the Vikings acquired Jackson before Week Two, he would first be eligible for the Week Six game against Dallas. The Vikings have a bye in Week Four that would not count toward Jackson's suspension.

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