Wide receiver Jackson remains with Chargers
Holdout wide receiver
Vincent Jackson remains the property of the San Diego Chargers despite his agent saying he had deals in place with several teams before Wednesday’s deadline.
Agent Neil Schwartz said he heard from multiple general managers that the Chargers were asking for “wholly unreasonable” compensation for Jackson, a Pro Bowl receiver who had two straight 1,000-yard seasons. Schwartz said another GM told him that Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith seemed to be “squatting” on Jackson.
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, but 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 Wednesday in order to play for a new team in Week 5. Now, he’ll have to finish serving the remainder of his three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and serve a three-game suspension on the roster exempt list if he does sign.
Unhappy over not receiving a long-term deal in the off-season, Jackson refused to sign the one-year, $3.268-million contract he was tendered as a restricted free agent.
Smith didn’t return a call seeking comment.
Gradkowski to start for Raiders
Five months after acquiring Jason Campbell to be their starting quarterback, the Oakland Raiders benched him in favor of Bruce
Gradkowski beginning with this week’s game at Arizona.
Coach Tom Cable announced the switch after practice Wednesday, hoping the spark Gradkowski provided in the second half of last week’s 16-14 win over St. Louis can carry over for the rest of the season.
Tampa Bay’s Jackson suspended
Tampa Bay safety
Tanard Jackson has been suspended for a minimum of a year without pay for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
The league made the announcement Wednesday, saying Jackson has been suspended indefinitely but will be eligible for reinstatement beginning Sept. 22, 2011.
Hill will start for Lions
Detroit Lions Coach Jim Schwartz says quarterback
Shaun Hill will start at Minnesota on Sunday. Quarterback Matthew
Stafford did not practice Wednesday. Schwartz says Stafford is doing well with his rehabilitation, but the coach and player haven’t said what the timetable is for his return.
Saints sign Betts
Two days after Reggie
Bush broke his leg, the New Orleans Saints have brought back veteran running back Ladell Betts, who the club had released after the preseason.
Betts, who played eight years for Washington, is trying to come back from a serious left knee injury last season. He played in two exhibition games with the Saints, rushing nine times for 53 yards and making five catches for 24 yards.
STAYING PUT: Holdout Vincent Jackson attracted interest from several other teams, his agent said.