There was a brief moment this summer where it appeared as if Vincent Jackson was going to singlehandedly prolong the NFL lockout. The Chargers' star wide receiver was one of nine players involved in the antitrust lawsuit against the league, and rumors circulated that in order for Jackson to agree to drop the suit, he wanted to be either given a large financial settlement or be promised that he would never be given the franchise tag for the remainder of his career.
While that settlement never happened and the lockout did eventually end, Jackson's unhappiness about being franchised was accurate. He has said publicly that he would like to work out a long-term contract with the Chargers and or be made an unrestricted free agent.
However, a source told PFW that it is expected the Chargers will place the franchise tag on Jackson following the 2011 season, which would be the second consecutive offseason that has happened. If that takes place, it would jump his salary up to $13.7 million next season, a 120 percent raise from the $11.4 million he is due this year based on the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The 2012 salary would make Jackson one of the highest-paid wideouts in the game and would mean that the team will have invested $25 million in Jackson for two years of work after denying him a contract extension during his 2010 holdout.
While the team would not comment on its plans for the offseason — a Chargers spokesperson said that they do not speak about players under contracts during the regular season — there is a belief that franchising Jackson again would be a wise move for the team. In July, GM A.J. Smith told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he will do "what is in the best interest of the Chargers" regarding Jackson's long-term future with the team.
When contacted by PFW, Jackson's agent, Neil Schwartz, said that his client has had no complaints about playing for Norv Turner, teaming up with Philip Rivers or being a member of the Chargers' organization. Jackson's only issue is not being able to hit the open market. The receiver has signed only one contract since being drafted in 2005, a five-year deal that has been extended twice already by the team as a restricted player in 2010 and as a franchise player this season; we hear that a third extension might be on its way.
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