Wide receiver Vincent Jackson will report to the San Diego Chargers next week and sign his contract tender, his agent said Thursday.
By reporting Oct. 29, Jackson will be able to serve a three-game, team-imposed suspension on the roster exempt list, then play in the final six games to accrue his sixth season toward unrestricted free agency.
Jackson and agent Neil Schwartz said earlier this fall that the receiver likely wouldn’t play this year.
“With the landscape of labor uncertainty, we wanted to create, at this point in time, certainty,” Schwartz told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Last week, the NFL Players Association recommended that Jackson and New England Patriots restricted free-agent Logan Mankins report to their teams in time to gained an accrued season.
Jackson, a 6-foot-5 Pro Bowl player who had two straight 1,000-yard seasons, won’t be paid when he misses games against Tennessee, Houston and Denver while on the roster exempt list. He was placed on the list on Aug. 20 in a hardball tactic by general manager A.J. Smith.
Jackson will be eligible to return to the struggling Chargers for a game at Indianapolis on Nov. 28.
Counting the six games he plays and the bye week, he’ll earn $240,058 rather than the $3,268,000 he would have made had he signed his tender as a restricted free agent before the season.
The Chargers (2-4) could use Jackson sooner than he’s going to be available. They might be without Philip Rivers’ top two targets, tight end Antonio Gates and wideout Malcom Floyd, when they host New England on Sunday. Those two missed practice Thursday.
“My thoughts are exclusively on the Patriots,” coach Norv Turner said when asked about Jackson reporting. “If Vincent reports, I’ll be excited to see him.”
Jackson’s original five-year contract expired after last season. But because this is an uncapped year, he would have needed six seasons to become an unrestricted free agent.
Sports agent Josh Luch, who told Sports Illustrated he paid more than 30 college football players from 1990-96, has been decertified by the NFL Players Association. Miami Dolphins first-round draft pick Jared Odrick, already recovering from a broken leg, hurt his left foot at practice and is “done for a long time,” according to coach Tony Sparano. The Dolphins haven’t decided whether to put the rookie defensive end on injured reserve, which would end his season. Browns wide receivers Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi remain sidelined by concussions sustained on helmet-to-helmet hits by Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison. Colts president Bill Polian says tight end Dallas Clark is out indefinitely with a hand/wrist injury. Denver Broncos players have voted to give the NFL Players Association the option of decertifying in the event of a lockout next year. More than half the teams in the NFL have approved the course of action for the union, which would allow the union a chance to sue under antitrust laws if there is a lockout.