San Diego Chargers fans have seen this before, the organization refuses to offer WR Vincent Jackson a long-term contract and slap the franchise tag on him. If Jackson signs his tender offer this season, he will earn between $10-11 million dollars for the 2011 season.
Chargers GM A.J. Smith told reporters, “Vincent’s a good player and he’s always been a good player, which I’ve said repeatedly. I’m comfortable with not giving him a long-term deal right now, and we are not negotiating a long-term deal. We’ll see how the year goes, but not at the present time”.
For the pricetag of $10-11 million dollars in 2011, Jackson might consider playing for one more season and then hitting the free agent market. However, what is risky for the Chargers is that the current designation of the franchise tag on players means nothing after the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on March 4th. If the new CBA does not include provisions for the use of the franchise or transition designations, Jackson has accrued enough time in the NFL to become an unrestricted free agent after 6 seasons.
The reluctance to offer Jackson a long-term contract could come back to haunt the Chargers.