The NFL and NFL Players Association will have an arbitration hearing next Thursday to argue over whether wide receiver Vincent Jackson(notes) is subject to being kept on a three-game roster exemption list even if he is traded by the San Diego Chargers to another team. The ruling is expected to have a significant impact on whether Jackson gets traded.
Jackson, who is hoping for a long-term deal after refusing to sign a one-year tender as a restricted free agent with San Diego, has been suspended for the first three games of the season for violating the substance abuse policy. If and when he returns to the Chargers, he then would miss three games because the Chargers placed him on the roster exempt list.
However, the NFLPA has argued that the roster exempt status only applies if Jackson remains with the Chargers. The union believes that any team acquiring Jackson in trade would not have to have him sit an additional three weeks.
Townley’s ruling will have an impact on whether some teams may be interested in trading for Jackson. So far, three teams have received permission from San Diego to speak with Jackson’s agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, about a possible contract with Jackson.