Two restricted free-agent holdouts — Chargers WR Vincent Jackson and Patriots OG Logan Mankins — will likely report to their respective teams before the end of the season, according to an ESPN report late Wednesday. Both players have refused to sign their free-agent tenders unless they are given long-term contracts.
The NFL Players Association has advised both players to report in time to gain credit for a sixth accrued season toward free agency, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. That would likely prevent both players from being restricted free agents next year, although it's not certain what the next Collective Bargaining Agreement will say about the requirements for free agency.
Jackson has been advised to report no later than Oct. 31, and Mankins is being urged to report by Nov. 16. The reason for the different dates is that the Chargers have placed Jackson on the roster-exempt list, which requires that he sit out three games after he signs his tender. Reporting by Oct. 31 would allow him to sit out three games and still be on the active roster for the six games required to gain credit for an accrued season.
Mortensen quoted an e-mail from NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, which said in part, "In the CBA, a restricted free agent has the right to accept his tender and report to the club any time up until the Tuesday after week 10 (Nov. 16, 4 p.m. ET) of the regular season, whether or not the club requests or agrees to his reporting."