On the day that Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill let pass another deadline set by the Chargers, word broke that Jackson could be closer to freedom.
The Chargers granted permission to the Seattle Seahawks to speak with their disgruntled Pro Bowl receiver, but those talks have hit a wall.
According to league sources, the Seahawks have balked at the price set by Jackson’s agents, who are asking for $30 million guaranteed on a five-year, $50 million contract. Based on the average per year, that would rank Jackson among the four highest-paid receivers in the league.
Meanwhile, as of Friday night, Jackson and McNeill are now on the Roster Exempt List. That means they will miss at least the season opener, a distinction that is almost certainly moot based on the belief the pair is prepared to sit out most, if not all, of the season.
The Seahawks’ interest has long been known, and the team confirmed to Yahoo! Sports on Friday that it has spoken to Jackson’s agents. Those discussions began at least several days ago, according to one source.
The same sources said the asking price from the Chargers is a second-round draft pick, which is not believed to be an issue at this point.
At least three other teams have expressed interest in Jackson, though Seattle is the only one to get permission from the Chargers to formally negotiate with agents Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod.
The Chargers made it known this summer they would listen to trade offers for Jackson. Facing a three-game suspension from the NFL for his two DUI arrests since 2006 and also having been cited for driving on a suspended license in January, he is not in the team’s long-term plans.
A player on the Roster Exempt list cannot play until the fourth game after the date he signs. The final two preseason games count, meaning McNeill as of now is only officially out of the season opener.
Jackson would still need to sit out three regular-season games, regardless of whether he is traded. As for his pending suspension, if Jackson were to sign his tender by Sept. 4, the three games he has to miss because of his Roster Exempt status would be served concurrently with his suspension.
At this point, Jackson is probably only worthy of a late-round flyer. It's hard to see him making much of a fantasy impact in 2010 wherever he plays.