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Jackson’s agent: Deals in place, but no trade

Associated Press / September 23, 2010

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Holdout wide receiver Vincent Jackson remains the property of the Chargers despite his agent saying he had deals in place with several teams before yesterday’s deadline.

Agent Neil Schwartz said he heard from multiple general managers, whom he declined to identify, that the Chargers were asking for “wholly unreasonable’’ compensation for Jackson, a Pro Bowler who had two straight 1,000-yard seasons. Schwartz said another GM told him that Chargers GM A.J. Smith seemed to be “squatting’’ on Jackson.

“Multiple teams have told me that they can’t get a deal done with A.J.,’’ Schwartz said.

Smith, who has a history of hardball dealings with players, didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Schwartz said the legal language with one team was already drawn up and ready for Jackson to read and sign. That was a one-year deal with an option, with an average salary of more than $9 million. Schwartz declined to identify that team. It was widely reported that the Vikings were a major suitor.

Under terms of a deal arranged by the NFL and the players’ union, Jackson had to sign a new contract by 4 p.m. EDT yesterday in order to play for a new team in Week 5. Now, he’ll have to finish serving his three-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy — he pleaded guilty in February to his second DUI since 2006 — and serve a three-game suspension on the roster exempt list if he does sign.

Had a deal been done before the deadline, Jackson would have been placed on the Commissioner Exempt list for three games, retroactive to Game 2. That essentially would have rolled six games worth of suspensions into four games.

Those suspensions seem to be moot because Schwartz said it’s unlikely Jackson will play this season under terms of the team’s contract tender.

“Not now, not ever,’’ Schwartz said.

Unhappy over not receiving a long-term deal in the offseason, Jackson refused to sign the one-year, $3.268 million contract he was tendered as a restricted free agent.

Bucs safety suspended
Buccaneers safety Tanard Jackson was suspended for a minimum of a year without pay for violating the substance abuse policy.

The league made the announcement, saying the fourth-year pro has been suspended indefinitely but will be eligible for reinstatement beginning Sept. 22, 2011.

“Obviously, it’s frustrating and disappointing for everybody,’’ Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik said.

Jackson sat out the first four games of the 2009 season while serving a previous suspension for violating the substance of abuse policy.

Edwards apologizes
Jets receiver Braylon Edwards apologized to his teammates, coaches, family, and fans, a day after he was arrested for drunken driving. “Being in this situation, being around an environment like this, you truly are appreciative,’’ Edwards said. “For the event to happen the way it did, it was sad for me in that situation.’’ Edwards was arraigned on drunken-driving charges Tuesday after a breath test showed he had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit when he was stopped on Manhattan’s West Side around 5 a.m., prosecutors said. “Quite honestly, I’m tired of dealing with some of these issues,’’ coach Rex Ryan said. “I’m tired of the embarrassment to our owner and this organization. Let’s just end it. Let’s stop it.’’ . . . Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis will not play against the Dolphins Sunday night because of his strained left hamstring. “I want to be out there with them, but I can’t,’’ Revis said. “I’m just going to take my time and get back to 100 percent.’’ Ryan said the All-Pro would not even travel with the Jets to Miami. “He’s itching to get back,’’ Ryan said, “but it’s too risky of a proposition to put him out there.’’

Batch to start
Charlie Batch, a longtime backup who was relegated to No. 4 status as the Steelers dealt with Ben Roethlisberger’s off-field problems, will make his first start since 2007, at Tampa Bay on Sunday. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin picked Batch over Byron Leftwich, who is recovering from a sprained left knee ligament that occurred Sept. 2. Dennis Dixon started the first two games, but he underwent surgery yesterday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee and is out indefinitely . . . Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Shaun Hill will start at quarterback at Minnesota on Sunday. Regular starter Matthew Stafford, who injured his throwing shoulder in Week 1, did not practice yesterday, but Schwartz said he is doing well with his rehabilitation . . . Coach Tom Cable said Bruce Gradkowski, who rallied the Raiders to a win over the Rams last week after replacing Jason Campbell at halftime, will start at quarterback Sunday against Arizona.

Harrison fined
Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been fined $5,000 for slamming Titans quarterback Vince Young to the turf while sacking him last Sunday. Harrison was not penalized on the play, but Tenessee coach Jeff Fisher questioned on Monday why the former All-Pro wasn’t called for unnecessary roughness . . . The Saints brought back veteran running back Ladell Betts, whom they had released after the preseason, after Reggie Bush broke his right leg during Monday night’s victory at San Francisco. Betts, who played eight years for the Redskins, is trying to come back from a serious left knee injury last season. He played in two preseason games with the Saints, rushing nine times for 53 yards and making five catches for 24 yards . . . Eagles All-Pro fullback Leonard Weaver, who sustained a season-ending injury in Philadelphia’s loss to Green Bay in Week 1, had surgery on his left knee. Orthopedist James Andrews performed the surgery Tuesday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and torn posterior lateral corner . . . Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill will miss several games with an injury to his right leg. It was originally announced as a calf strain, but coach Pete Carroll said it was more in the Achilles’ area . . . Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder, who has been bothered by a groin injury, practiced for the first time since Aug. 17, but it is uncertain when he will appear in a game.

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