Thursday, September 16, 2010

Top 10 Trade Destinations for Vincent Jackson

As the result of an arbitration hearing and agreement, malcontent holdout WR Vincent Jackson can play as soon as Week Five... but only if he's dealt by next Wednesday. If the Chargers can't work out a deal, he can't play until the final six games of the year. And given the rancor of the holdout to date, and how many holes the Chargers showed in their Week One loss to the Chiefs, you'd have to think that a deal is imminent. Where should the Pro Bowl deep threat go?

10) Minnesota. Everyone thinks this is the place for VJax to go, under the idea that Brett Favre's Clock Is Ticking, they were so close to the prize last year, and in that Week One loss to the Saints, they were so thin at wideout, Greg Lewis was getting targets. But all of that misses two big points. The first is that the Vikings are not a cash-flush franchise, since they don't have a pleasure palace of their own. So they might not have the bucks to actually pay off Jackson, which is the cause of all of this misery in the first place. The second is that they probably won't have the best package to offer, since excess talent is not exactly the way to describe the Vikings roster right now, and their picks aren't projecting very high. It doesn't surprise me that they'd want him, but I don't think they are going to get him.

9) Tampa. If the Chargers want to well and truly exile Jackson into football irrelevancy, there are few better options than Tampa, where the Bucs have young WRs that would do well to not have primary corners working to destroy all confidence, and a young QB that needs someone to win 50-50 balls. The Bucs could make an offer here with any number of unknown cheap defensive players, and a pick could look strong. I doubt they'll do it, because they have to know they are years away from contention, but it would help QB Joshua Freeman immensely.

8) St. Louis. For sheer need, the Rams have to be thinking hard about wideouts. They've dealt for ex-Raven Mark Clayton and threw him a ton of targets in Week One, mostly because Danny Amendola is too small to stay healthy, Donnie Avery can't stay in one piece, and Brandon Gibson is a borderline practice squadder. QB Sam Bradford looked more advanced than expected in Week One, albeit against weak competition. They might just decide to accelerate the development by giving him an actual weapon.

7) Atlanta. This franchise drafts exceptionally well, desperately needs a second quality wideout to balance the field for QB Matt Ryan, and probably thinks they are close enough to make a move, especially in the hyper-competitive NFC South. It would be a terrible place for him to go for his fantasy owners, who are dreaming of Jackson in a pinball offense, rather than in a run-first conservative outfit, but from the sense of real football and making the Falcons a real threat, he'd be tremendous. A corps of Roddy White, VJax and Tony Gonzalez to go with Michael Turner and a quality defense might even make the Falcons a favorite.

6) Jacksonville. Once again the site of an underperforming top wideout, where the erratic and injury-prone Mike Sims-Walker is causing understandable concern that the Jags are just wasting the best years of Maurice Jones-Drew's football life. The Jags have some defensive talent and the promise of a high pick, and while this isn't a franchise that makes a lot of noise about making moves, but maybe that could change with the spectre of low attendance. If they offered a second round pick, frequently prized above first rounders by NFL GMs for the salary flexibility they offer in comparison to first rounders, the Chargers could pull the trigger.

5) Oakland. He'd actually be a quality wideout, the first that the franchise had since Randy Moss actually tried, or when Tim Brown and Jerry Rice were alive. The Raiders do have talent all over the place from their decade of high picks, and the Chargers have shown a history of fearlessness when it comes to dealing with potential rivals -- including signing Turner, who once coached there. It's not the most likely place for him to land, but lo, there is a crushing need, and he perfectly fits the franchise's ideal for what a wideout should be.

4) San Francisco. This one's fun. If the Niners are as bent at Michael Crabtree as they seem to be after that Week One loss to Seattle -- and remember, this is a guy that made no friends right from the start with a rookie year holdout -- you could see an even-up problem child swap. I love moves like that, if only because it has such a linking quality to both guy's careers. We'd never think of one without the other, and since they do the same thing, more or less, the stats would match up nicely. It also has the benefit for both clubs of getting the guy out of their division and conference, so they wouldn't have to put themselves at risk for the Vengeance Game.

3) Cleveland. Eric Mangini has to know that Muhammad Massaquoi isn't a number one wideout, and the Browns have shown a willingness to roll the dice on trades involving wideouts -- witness last year's move of Braylon Edwards to the Jets. He'd make for a fine complement here, and QB Jake Delhomme has a history of feeding a reasonable deep ball to a quality wideout. If the Browns are serious about developing the roster, a talent like Jackson is a must-have. The bigger question is whether that have anything to offer beyond future picks, not that those picks aren't going to be high.

2) Seattle. Rumor has it that they've offered for him before, and since they auto-ejected T.J. Houshmanzadeh, it's obvious that they aren't satisfied with ordinary options here. I think that he'd actually be a waste so long as Matt Hasselbeck is his QB, as I don't think he can really give him good deep work anymore, but teams generally don't think that way, and VJ can do plenty of damage in the intermediate game, too. I do wonder why the new regime would want to bring in a salary malcontent, since the last they did this, it turned into the very underwhelming Deion Branch.

1) Washington. Oh, here is where the rubber really hits the road. Owner Daniel Snyder loves to play fantasy football with his roster, and with a locker room filled with creaking veterans that can't get deep, and a QB whose primary strength is the deep ball, it makes all kind of sense. Santana Moss is much better suited to #2 wideout status now, and the kiddie corps hasn't done much of anything to date. With a probable playoff run coming this year, Jackson makes good sense, and if the Chargers are patient enough to take a high pick in, say, 2012, they could hit the jackpot here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice article. Thanks for something substantial about the trade potential. There is some good insight here too. Keep it up.

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