A New CBA Could Provide Instant Chaos

With recent news on the labor front looking increasingly positive for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) sooner rather than later, plenty of murmurs have surfaced about possible personnel moves on the horizon once a new deal is in place. The Chargers just happen to be one of the teams in the discussion on a few different areas and these potential trades could help solidify a team still feeling a bit uncertain at some positions.

The big newsmaker during the past week had to be beat writer Kevin Acee’s comments regarding the prospect of a Vincent Jackson trade before the season begins. Clearly this has been an ongoing saga for the Bolts with Jackson and General Manager A.J. Smith being at odds over the franchise tag designation which would likely pay V Jack between $10 million and $11 million in 2011.

A long-term deal is what Jackson is after and who can blame him in a ‘what have you done for me lately?’ league like the NFL, but the Bolts’ front office has been adamant about the character concerns weighing down his value to the club. This past February GM Smith reiterated his value to the team saying: "Vincent has been a valuable contributor to our team. We want him to be a Charger." Yet still there is no budging on extending a long-term contract to the disgruntled wideout.

Some of that hesitation is certainly warranted given Jackson’s DUI history and the potential for the league to boot him for an entire season with one more slip up. Also the Bolts have Malcom Floyd and will likely try to keep him in San Diego with a new deal when they can and he is a look-a-like receiver to V Jack with game breaking speed and a lanky 6’5” frame.

Still it isn’t everyday that a team finds a talent like Jackson who is a legitimate vertical threat who can really elevate for jump balls and provide a tremendous red zone target. According to Acee’s comments from SignonSanDiego.com however, this year could finally be the year that Jackson gets his wish as he said: “I will say this: They will be more willing to trade Vincent Jackson now than they were in 2010. I figure that will start a frenzy, but it shouldn’t. I’m not saying they will trade him, but that it could happen for similar terms as they turned down last year. That said, they were smart to franchise Jackson because he’s an amazing receiver who can help them win regardless of whether what you say were to pertain to him or not.”

Considering those thoughts and what the Bolts were said to have been offered for Jackson a year ago, perhaps another second round pick could be acquired for the 2012 selection. That pick would be yet another for Smith and the team to hold onto and use when the time comes or perhaps do their damage immediately via another trade…

Yes, there has been yet another rumor floating around out there this past week and that involves Green Bay Packers’ linebacker Nick Barnett and the possibility of him being either traded or released before the season begins. Barnett was placed on IR (injured reserve) last season with a wrist injury just four games into the year, but at 30 years of age, he could arguably be on the downside of his career at this point.

Even still, the Bolts have a gaping hole at inside linebacker with Kevin Burnett, Stephen Cooper, and Brandon Siler all free agents to be coming into this season. The team did take Jonas Mouton out of Michigan with one of their second round picks this past April and has said that it would like to keep Burnett when the time comes, but they will still be awfully thin inside.

Barnett is a Southern California native who could look to return home if given his choice of destinations and San Diego would be a nice fit schematically as well according to ESPN. Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. said: “He wouldn't be a bad fit at all. He’s a very solid football player. He’s experienced in the 3-4 on the outside. I still think he has plenty left in the tank. San Diego’s inside linebacker situation is in such a state of flux, it is hard to predict who he would be playing next to on the inside, but I see him more as a weakside inside linebacker in that system.”

The Chargers have had a relatively quiet offseason to this point (as have most teams), but things could heat up suddenly should an agreement be reached soon between the two sides in the labor debate. Don’t look for the Bolts to be passive observers once the floodgates are opened because they still have plenty of holes to address prior to week one of the upcoming season.

Now it’s your turn. Do you think the Bolts should still be shopping Vincent Jackson around? What kind of draft pick compensation would you consider adequate in a trade package? Could Malcom Floyd be just as effective as Jackson when playing the number one receiver spot? Do you think inside linebacker will be addressed before the start of training camp or will the team just try to re-sign its current free agents? Do you see Nick Barnett as a good fit with the team at inside backer? Please fill up the comments section below with your thoughts on these recent rumors!

July 12, 2011

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