Does A.J. Smith have a right not to trade Vincent Jackson?
You bet he does.
But when the Chargers didn't work out a deal to trade Jackson, even though there were interested parties, that didn't sit well with Jackson's agents, who fired off some harsh words for Smith after the deadline passed for Jackson to be dealt.
"Archie Manning had it right," agent Jonathan Feinsod told ESPN. "They call (GM A.J. Smith) The Lord of No Rings for a reason."
They might start calling Neil Schwartz and Feinsod, Jackson's agents, the Lords of Stubborness.
I did talk with Schwartz Wedneday nght and he said that neither he nor Feinsod has ever referred to Smith as The Lord of No Rings. He also gave his reasons as to why his client isn't playing for the Chargers.
I get his side, even if I don't agree with it. All Jackson needed to do was play the season, show he was the same player he was when he went to the Pro Bowl, and the Chargers probably would have given him a long-term deal or he would have been a free agent or played for the franchise tag next season.
The agents are worried about injury. I get it. But Jackson could trip down the steps at home, tear up a knee, and get nothing.
If he had signed his tender, he would have been paid $3 million. But the Chargers lowered the number to $525,000 when Jackson refused to sign. That was an out-of-spite move by Smith. The franchise number for a receiver was just over $9.5 million during free agency. So why not meet in the middle?
I get the idea that Jackson would play for $6 million. If that's the case, then Smith needs to get off his butt and make the deal happen.
As it is now, Jackson will earn nothing if he sits out the season, which Schwartz said he is prepared to do.
Is that a good thing for a client? I think Schwartz is doing his client a disservice, which I told him. All too often agents negotiate for themselves. They want to be able to brag when they go out and recruit, rather than do the best thing for their players.
This isn't helping your recruiting, guys.
It's never a win for a player to miss time or game checks. You can look up the history of those players who have sat out seasons.
Is Smith hardheaded? Indeed. But he's playing within the rules, even if he's being a little pompous in the way he goes about it. If Feinsod and Schwartz need to rip somebody, they might want to look in the mirror.
They did work out contract terms with for Jackson with two trade partners -- one being the Minnesota Vikings, although Schwartz wouldn't confirm that -- but those teams couldn't work out a trade for Jackson with the Chargers.
Jackson is the property of the San Diego Chargers, like it or not. His best option is to play for the Chargers. Then again, it's his only option.That or sit out and make nothing.
It's the Lords of Stubborness vs. the General Manager Who Thinks He's King.
The big loser is Jackson.