Updated Oct. 21, 2010 @ 9:16 p.m. ET
Posted Oct. 21, 2010 @ 4:45 p.m. ET
Vincent Jackson will report to the Chargers next week, his agent confirmed Thursday.
Jackson has missed the team's first two months of action following a suspension from the league for violating the substance-abuse policy and a contract holdout. Once he reports to the Chargers and signs his contract tender, he will be forced to sit out another three games, as well as the Week 10 bye, since he is on the roster-exempt list. That would make him eligible to play in Week 12 vs. the Colts
"With the landscape of labor uncertainty, we wanted to create, at this point in time, certainty," Jackson's agent, Neil Schwartz, told The Associated Press on Thursday.
According to league rules, a player must be on a team's active roster for six regular-season games to gain credit for an accrued season toward free agency. Doing so would, in all likelihood, prevent Jackson from being a restricted free agent again, since he would have credit for six accrued seasons at the conclusion of this season, which would be enough to qualify him for unrestricted free agency even under the tougher standards that went into effect in the 2010 uncapped league year.
Jackson will earn approximately $240,000 for his six games this year, rather than the $3.27 million he would have earned had he signed the Chargers' original tender, before they reduced it.
Jackson was hoping for a new deal from San Diego, but team GM A.J. Smith has declined to renegotiate with his star wide receiver. If he does become an unrestricted free agent after the year is done, Jackson is expected to be one of the top players on the market.
The way we see it
The news comes as somewhat of a surprise, as many believed Jackson was going to sit out the entire year as opposed to playing for the Chargers. By returning to the team next week as opposed to right now, Jackson is sending a message that he is going to give the team the minimum amount of time to utilize his talents.
Fantasy owners may want to look at Jackson's availabity for the stretch run of their seasons. It is unknown what kind of shape he's in, but if he continues his pace of 2009 (68 catches, 1,167 yards, nine TDs), he will be a valuable addition to most teams.