UPDATE: ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that Jackson's suspension will be four games if he's traded to another team, and six games if he remains with the Chargers.
San Diego Chargers' wide receiver Vincent Jackson has been available in a trade for, basically, the entire off-season. He made it clear that he wasn't going to sign anything that the Chargers offered him, and was hit with a three-game suspension by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
However, there has been some debate over whether Jackson's suspension is three games. . .or six games. This is because he's subject to an extra three-game suspension due to the fact that he's on San Diego's "exempt" list, since he didn't show up for Training Camp this year. The NFL feels that Jackson should have to serve those sentences consecutively as opposed to concurrently. Jackson, obviously, doesn't feel that way. Today, Jackson and the Chargers are scheduled to sit down in front of an arbitrator to determine the final outcome of these suspensions.
The rumor mill is saying that the two parties may be working something out where Jackson's suspension could be reduced to "four or five" games, which is still more than the three Jackson is shooting for.
What does this all mean? Well, a few weeks ago, an "unnamed team" was said to have worked out the details of a one-year contract for Jackson's services, but the two teams were unable to come to any kind of trade agreement. That "unnamed team" was thought by many to be none other than our very own Minnesota Vikings. Presumably, the Vikings would attempt to make such a deal under the impetus that Jackson would be suspended for three games. Jackson could then come in after the Vikings' September 26 game against the Detroit Lions, spend two weeks with Brett Favre and company picking up the offense, and be ready to go for the Monday night match-up against the Jets in Week Five. If Jackson's suspension ends up being four or five games, I would think that Minnesota's interest in him would wane a little bit.
However, if the Vikings can acquire Jackson's services for a third-round pick. . .or, possibly, even a second. . .man, the thought of three-receiver sets with the 6'6" Jackson lined up on one side, 6'5" Sidney Rice on the other, Percy Harvin patrolling the slot, and Visanthe Shiancoe at tight end has to make most Viking fans feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn't it? Liberally sprinkle in some Greg Camarillo and Bernard Berrian, and hey. . .who can cover all that?
If the two teams work something out, we should know the results immediately. If they do end up sitting down in front of an arbitrator, said arbitrator has five days to make a decision after hearing the particulars of the case. If we hear anything, we'll update this story for your viewing pleasure. In the meantime, feel free to discuss the merits of a potential Vincent Jackson trade right here.