Are The Chargers Treating Vincent Jackson Unethically?

The Wednesday 1:00 PM deadline has passed, and Vincent Jackson is still a member of the Chargers – or, more appropriately, Property of AJ Smith and the Chargers. San Diego was well within their right to not trade Jackson, but much of the situation surrounding the fallout from the deadline has to raise a few flags

Just because what Smith did by not trading Jackson does not break any rules does not mean that it is right. But the ethically questionable actions here involve whether his intentions towards the situation ever allowed for Jackson to move to another team.

It was widely reported by both national and local NFL information men that Jackson had several serious suitors that intended to talk to the Chargers about a possible trade. So how did a Pro Bowl wide receiver go from being a hot commodity one day to just about untouchable the next?

The Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins were supposed to be the front-runners for the Charger wide out. Both teams have serious questions at wide receiver, but dreams of going deep into the playoffs. While it was not reported how deep the discussions got with the Redskins, multiple news outlets reported that the Vikings were reportedly ready to give Jackson a one-year deal worth $6 million.

While the one-year deal would not have been what Jackson and his agent Neil Schwartz had hoped for, it would have almost doubled the amount that the original tender from the Chargers would have given the wide receiver. This deal also would have been good for the Vikings as they will likely have to give new contracts to wide receivers Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin who will be wanting big contract extensions from their rookie deals.

Once Jackson had a contract ready with his new suitors, it was up to Chargers to negotiate a deal with one of the teams.

This is where everything fell apart.

Originally, most people around the league believed that the Chargers would require a third or fourth round pick for Jackson who’s value was held back by his DUIs and the fact that he has never been considered in the same tier as the Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnsons of the league. Add into this that it appeared the Chargers did not think highly enough of him to offer a big-money extension and it seemed like Jackson could be had for a very reasonable price.

The rest of the story has been detailed in other outlets and is not worth rehashing again. But the main point that everyone seems to agree on is that it looks like AJ Smith deliberately decided not to trade Jackson out of spite.

The compensation demands went from a conditional third round pick to at least a second and a third. And the demands from the Chargers only got steeper for the teams that were willing to give Jackson multiple-year contracts.

Clearly, Smith was not trying to do Jackson any favors.

The teams that were considered the main candidates for Jackson’s service were Super Bowl contenders. It is more than possible that a fearing Smith was worried that Jackson could be the difference in one of these teams and end up with a ring leaving only more questions than answers in San Diego.

After the deadline passed, a defeated Jackson told

"I just don't understand why (a trade wasn't completed). They obviously think I'm a valuable player by asking for such high trade compensation, but why am I only offered tender salary?

"My agents and teams interested did everything to make it happen, but this organization stopped it. I just want to play football. It feels unethical and I am disappointed."

Jason La Canfora’s story went on to quote Schwartz his agent saying: “[Smith] never had any intention of trading him.”

"We're prepared to sit out the season, and that's always what we've been prepared to do," Schwartz continued.

Now, with the deadline passed to reduce Jackson’s team-imposed suspension he will not be able to play in a game until after the sixth game of the season – also the same week as the NFL Trade Deadline. More importantly, because the last three games of Jackson’s suspension are team imposed, he will not be able to even take part in team practices or meetings until after his full suspension has been served – even if he is traded to a new team.

So even if the Chargers find a trade partner who is also willing to pay Jackson, it would not be until week eight or nine of the season that he would even be remotely familiar or comfortable in his new team’s system.

This has left Jackson with few, if any, options.

He still has the option to come back the Chargers at a prorated portion of his $600,000 salary he has on the table. But if he does not come back until week 10 of the season, he would only make a little over $250,000 for the remaining games. Which, after he paid the Chargers all the fines he accrued from missing training camp and practices, would not be anywhere close to enough for him to risk his career to injury in those games.

Schwartz and Jackson are banking on the fact that the new CBA – which is currently being negotiated – will grant unrestricted free agency to players after four years rather than the current agreement which calls for six.

No matter what side of the fence you sit on in this debacle, there is no denying that something out of the ordinary is going on.

57% of voters in a recent San Diego Union Tribune poll said that not trading Jackson was the correct call. Many of these fans probably still believe that he has a chance of dawning a San Diego uniform again. But rest assured, Jackson will never play for the home team again at the Q, and may not be playing football again in 2010 thanks to the pride of AJ Smith.

Where are the ethics in that?

September 24, 2010

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Anonymous said... Sep 24, 2010, 9:16:00 AM

It's a business decision.

I think the team weighed the possibility of getting the draft choices over the potential to strengthen teams they may see in the post season & what Smith believes the team will receive in compensatory picks when and if Jackson does leave.

I don't think Smith and hope that would not let his personal feelings overide the Team's interest.

Jeff Creps said... Sep 24, 2010, 9:25:00 AM

FYI: The new CBA will likely not give the Chargers a compensation pick

Anonymous said... Sep 24, 2010, 10:20:00 AM

I'm so disappointed in Chargers dealings with VJ. He was a major difference maker for the team. They have given him no choice to sit out the entire season. Not to mention how this has negatively impacted our Public Relations image. "Lord of No Rings" That was personal! AJ deserves the critizism.

From a depth stand point, keeping VJ a bit longer is a wise move, because it gives bolt coaches a realistic view if they can move on with out Jackson. Ironically, the only possible solution here is to pay the man! All would be forgiven ...after all it's a buisness. I don't think it should be. I don't think any supperbowel champion team have won with that slogan. Life is short let's win the big one or at least try to. If not just like the Roman Empire the house will fall. You can take that to the bank Dean Spanos!

Lighting 72

Anonymous said... Sep 24, 2010, 10:48:00 AM

Lightning 72 I think you are mistaken VJ did have a choice, the Chargers offered him $3.2 million dollars for the season and VJ declined. Now VJ will receive close to $0 dollars even if he does report because of fines and penalties for missing camps & practices.

The real question lies in the new collective barganing agreement. We don't know if the new CBA will include a compensatory picks or not and the other question to come up will VJ still be under the Chargers control after a new CBA is agreed to. As it stands under the current CBA if a player doesn't report his team retains his rights for the following season, which may or may not change in the new CBA.

VJ is making a lot of questionable moves as well as the Chargers but I believe that the Chargers have more insite into what the CBA will or will not hold.

VJ might be traded again by the Chargers in 2012 who knows?

Mr.Page said... Sep 24, 2010, 11:32:00 AM

"Ethics"?...It's Football!

Charger Jimmy said... Sep 24, 2010, 1:29:00 PM

That's right, he had a chance and passed it up. Now he wants to cry about it and play the victim. V. Jack, you played a card that didn't work and now you want to cry about it. By the way, thanks for screwing around before the Jets game. Now anyone else in the Charger organization knows not to try and pull the same stunt. Good for you AJ, don't let these egotistical money hungry players drive the business. You be the business.

Anonymous said... Sep 24, 2010, 1:30:00 PM

AJ blew it, why place a 1st and 3rd tender on the player if he never really fit into their plans (obvious as to how recent events have transpired), he should have just placed a lower tender and someone would have signed him and we would have already had a high pick either a 1st or 2nd for VJ in the past draft which was considered a deep draft. AJ placing the 1st and 3rd tender should have known that no other team would give that up and that there was a chance VJ would sit. What a bad decision and now, to not take a couple of picks-come on !! move on if you don't want him let him go...btw nice draft of Larry English (who?) his talent evaluation missed on Clay Matthews for sure and thanks AJ for giving Norvel a new contract within days of being out coached again in our loss to the Jets (we should have blown them out) as Norvel again got conservative !!

Anonymous said... Sep 24, 2010, 1:37:00 PM

Charger Jimmy, you are no true fan. I guarantee true fans just want to win. Sproles $7M+ now that was a good move...yes VJ is a dope but he helps the team by stretching the field, trust me defenses are resting easy without having to worry about VJ not only a great deep threat but a great blocker. A good citizen clause could have been built into a one year fair contract but the idiot AJ only wants things his way...most long time fans are sick of it.

Anonymous said... Sep 24, 2010, 2:03:00 PM

Jeff – The Chargers are playing by the rules, so the answer to your question is no. If you asked me if VJ was unethical I would give you the same answer. Both sides are working the system as best they can. Neither are winners right now, although VJ’s stack dwindles every day. Personally, the moment VJ kicked that penalty flag in his last game is when he lost me. Have we not seen enough meltdowns by Chargers at the worst time? His behavior is too risky for one to commit to the long-term and I believe the Chargers realize that. VJ should have played it smart – come in and play for $3.2M, try and keep his act clean, and if he did, he would have gotten a bazillion $$s next year. But maybe he is incapable of that, which is why he is trying to get the big $$ now – who knows?

Anonymous said... Sep 24, 2010, 2:35:00 PM

If he thinks he should be paid Brandon Marshall money, we should get Brandon Marshall compensation for him which was not offered. If you play you'll get your deal, ask Rivers & Gates.

Anonymous said... Sep 24, 2010, 3:32:00 PM


–plural noun
1. ( used with a singular or plural verb ) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.
3. moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.
4. ( usually used with a singular verb ) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

where are VJ ethics in not honering his contract? Just because he did not get everything his crying little butt wanted does not mean the Chargers were wrong. You are just used to giving in to the person the whines the most. 10 years of holding three seats as a season ticket holder and i agree with this and so do all of the other players and GM's. this guy is one drink away from killing someone with his third DUI and you want to reward him?

Anonymous said... Sep 24, 2010, 4:38:00 PM

Chargers fans:
1. Players are not fined for missing preseason or practices when they are not under contract.
2. VJ did honor his contract, which was for 5 yrs, not 6.
3. The owners, not the players, opted out of the CBA.
4. AJ is an ignorant jerk, as he put his own ego ahead of the best interest of the team and fans.
5. AJ went out of his way to be a jerk in all of his dealings.
6. The chance for a potential late 3rd round pick instead of a 2nd plus 4th or 5th? How is that bright? The is no certainty that there will be any compensatory picks next season.
7. NFL contracts can be written to address off-the-field issues.
8. VJ is one of the best receivers in the game and the Chargers are no where near as dominating without him as they are with him.
9. AJ could have offered more than the minimum, could have negotiated with the player and agents, and could have toned down the rhetoric, but he is too much of a jerk to do it.
10. AJ has yet to bring a Superbowl championship to San Diego, even though he has a QBs and a TE that are fantastic offensive threats. Lord of the No Rings is apt.
11. Do you think AJ's crap towards VJ will not influence Marcus?
12. Since the team is not a strong without their 2 Pro Bowl players, you have to wonder if AJ is drawing another paycheck from another team in the AFC. The Chargers may not win the weak AFC West, may not even make the playoffs - think you'll be as forgiving of AJ if that happens?

Anonymous said... Sep 24, 2010, 4:56:00 PM

"believe that he has a chance of dawning a San Diego uniform again"

The word is "donning"

Anonymous said... Sep 24, 2010, 5:02:00 PM

I'm glad AJ did what he did. If anybody is arrogant, it's Vincent Jackson. The Chargers had every right to do what they did. If a player wants to whine instead of put forth some effort and hope for a better deal (Gates did that and was rewarded handsomely), then too bad.

You don't just give players away to other teams who are looking to screw you over in the end with compensatory draft picks (it was obvious Jackson was going to take a lower first year salary so the Chargers would get shafted with a lower pick).

Brandon said... Sep 24, 2010, 7:27:00 PM

The better question us where are VJs ethics?!?!? He decides that $3.5 million isn't enough for him so he decides to not show up for work and fulfill his previous contract? VJ just needs to play for the amount that he has agreed to. People are without jobs everywhere and he has the balls to decline the money? What an effing loser. I hope you don't play all year for anyone VJ you greedy punk.

Anonymous said... Sep 25, 2010, 1:27:00 PM

Anonymous wrote to "charger fans" re-think your #11 buddy. AJ's actions with VJ did bring Marcus back. Apparently Marcus's lying agents were not going to pay him 30K a week to sit out like VJ's.

Have a nice day.

Anonymous said... Sep 26, 2010, 1:57:00 AM

this is the first place on the net where I've seen people on Vjax side, not Aj's and the chargers.

Firstly, AJ asked for trade compensation as high as Vjax thinks he worth for 2 reasons, number 1: if Vjax is right then Aj gets some high draft picks, if not then not only do the Chargers not think he's worht paying, but 31 other teams don't think he's worth trading their picks for him ergo, 31 other teams don't think he's worth as much either.

secondly, stop calling AJ "the lord of no rings" all he can do is put the players on the field, its up to cromartie to tackle, kaeding to kick field goals and LT to rush for more than 30 yards. The players he has put on the field have turned us from a 1-15 team to perennial superbowl contenders.

Anonymous said... Sep 26, 2010, 1:48:00 PM

Let us remember who got arrested in early morning hours prior to us getting are asses handed to by the Jets? It was not AJ or Norv.

Anonymous said... Sep 27, 2010, 5:20:00 PM

Have to say that I find the whole situation sad. VJ didn't ask that he given only one real choice: Sign the three million plus tender allowed under league rules - period. Chargers owned his rights. However, he was getting nearly a five times his prior salary in a raise with respect to the original tender. Had he had another year under his belt, the Chargers could have elected to franchise him. But based upon the circumstances, they did not have to give him that much of a raise. VJ just painted himself into a corner, and if there is a lockout next year, it is really going to suck for him. Basically, he should have just signed the tender, reported, stay on good behavior and prove the DUI concerns are something that he's left behind -- rather than just saying that they are... Then, if there is no lock out, he'll have the oportunity then to make the bank he's looking for now. Ultimatly, the money was going to be there for him -- either in San Diego or elsewhere. He just need to be patient. The problem for him now is that he will never be able to recoup that money that he left on the table. Even if he makes $9 mil next year, he still lost $3.2 mil. Use the money and take out an insurance policy in the event he sustains a serious injury. Geez, he doesn't need an agent... He needs a better financial advisor.

Anonymous said... Sep 28, 2010, 2:23:00 PM

> FYI: The new CBA will likely not give the Chargers a compensation pick

And you know this from?

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