Last week, San Diego Union-Tribune Chargers Beat Writer, and all-around object of BFTB's affection, Kevin Acee wrote an article stating that ultimately Vincent Jackson controls his own fate with the Chargers (and any other team in the NFL for that matter). A lot of what Acee said was not much in the way of news to many of us here who follow the Chargers religiously.
However, what has puzzled some people, is how Vincent Jackson could afford to not play this season, and how he's able to forego the over-$3-million-payday and stick to his guns. Kevin Acee was able to shed some light on the subject:
League and sources in the agent community have confirmed that his ability to forego a salary is due to the financial backing of Schwartz and Feinsod, with the understanding the agents will be paid back after Jackson receives the mega contract they are seeking.
So that makes a lot more sense, that Jackson's agents are paying him now, with the expectation that they'll make a good amount of money when Vincent receives his supposedly-forthcoming big contract. There are no rules in the NFL saying an agent that already represents a player can't loan or give their client money, so there really is no wrongdoing here; for the most part, this was a non-story when it was published a week ago.
However, the article has gained new life as Vincent Jackson's lawyers have sent a letter to the San Diego Union-Tribune and its online counterpart, SignOnSanDiego.com, demanding a retraction. The letter gives the newspaper a specific time-frame in which to comply with the request. It is possible legal action will be pursued if the UT does not comply, presumably for libel.
So what exactly is the point of contention?In a phone interview with ProFootballTalk.com, Jackson's lawyer, Howard Weitzman explained:
[The article] inferred Vincent was not capable of managing his finances and that Neil and Jonathan are giving him financial backing so that he won't negotiate and sign with the Chargers. [Vincent] has managed his finances well. This could cause some G.M.'s down the road to look at him differently.
[The article] infers that these agents have told him, 'Forget about it, we'll back you. You don't have to worry about making money. We'll get you more down the road.'"
Well, that certainly clears things up, doesn't it? They're demanding a retraction because apparently Vincent Jackson has trouble using Quicken. I fail to see how this is truly an issue worth pursuing, and if anything is just another in a long line of actions that is causing Vincent Jackson to lose supporters.
It appears as though Jackson is fighting a losing battle here. The burden of proof is now on Jackson's camp to prove that Kevin Acee is wrong, and by extension the Union-Tribune. But how exactly do you prove that something like this didn't happen?
Ultimately, what does Vincent Jackson's camp hope to gain by discrediting Kevin Acee and the Union-Tribune? It appears to be not much, really. They seem to be wanting to show that the Union-Tribune has sided with the Chargers in Jackson's fight with the team. Okay, so what? Is this just their elaborate way to gain a rather insignificant negotiating point in their favor? Just so they can tell a potential GM another team, "you can't always believe what you read in the papers"?
I didn't realize being able to manage your finances was something a lot of General Managers took into heavy consideration. I guess it is more important than the seemingly-ludicrous $50 million contract request or the 2 DUI arrests or the 3-game suspension (thanks to those DUIs) or even the boneheaded moves made on the field. But that's probably why I'm not an NFL General Manager or a lawyer, I have my priorities all messed up.