Devaney defends Chargers’ ask price for Jackson

The details that have emerged since the non-trade of Chargers holdout Vincent Jackson are nearly as interesting as the speculation leading up to Wednesday’s deadline that all but closed the trade window.

The aftermath of the non-trade has brought us a disappointed Jackson, a silent A.J. Smith and Rams GM Billy Devaney defending the Chargers for holding firm in their demands. As details emerge, the heart of the story is the Chargers’ asking price, and Jackson’s belief the team blocked multiple deals that were in place.

Devaney, whose Rams were thought to be briefly interested in Jackson, said Smith’s demands were not unreasonable, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“We never got really deep into it,” Devaney said of talks about Jackson. “But I thought if you’re willing to pay the money for the guy, the draft picks the Chargers were talking about were not unreasonable.”

The questions, then, are why didn’t the Rams make a deal if the asking price was reasonable? And why was the reported asking price so high for a player the Chargers are only willing to compensate with the minimum tender allowed?

The Chargers’ price, per Kevin Accee’s report,  started as two second-round draft picks and ended up at a second-rounder in 2011 and a fourth-rounder in 2012. Jackson’s agent, Neil Schwartz, told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora he had a contract written up with one team (reportedly the Vikings) while another team was deeply involved and close to a deal.

Schwartz, via La Canfora, said the GMs he spoke with believed the Charger’s asking price was unreasonable. Schwartz also said that a GM told him the Chargers never had any intention of trading Jackson. Accee suggests the Chargers listened to offers and “budged only slightly” on their asking price.

The thinking all along regarding Jackson was that the Chargers would only make a trade on their terms, and in the end no team met Smith’s demands.

— Frank Tadych

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