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Chargers more willing to deal Vincent Jackson?

Last year, the St. Louis Rams had a long dalliance with Vincent Jackson and the San Diego Chargers. They had a tentative contract agreement in place with Jackson. San Diego sunk the deal by drastically inflating the asking price. Though never confirmed, pundits said that Rams GM Billy Devaney offered a second-round pick and then some. Chargers GM A.J. Smith might be more willing to deal Jackson this year, according to the Chargers' beat guy.

Prior the lockout, Jackson received the franchise tag from the Chargers. That designation ensures VJ a one-year paycheck north of $10 million. It's worth noting that most believe the next iteration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement being worked out now will honor those franchise tags, since they were long a part of business as usual.

Why the change of heart (maybe) in San Diego? Kevin Acee, the local beat reporter, doesn't elaborate, but if rumors that the Chargers want to add Panthers' WR Steve Smith, it would apparently make VJ expendable, assuming they retain Malcom Floyd. They also have Antonio Gates and rookie WR Vincent Brown.

And what about the Rams? McDaniels is pretty committed to the two-TE system this year. Add to that their stable of role playing receivers and young guys looking to finally make their mark, and it means that spare parts types like Plaxico Burress are unlikely targets. Jackson, as you know, is a bona fide number one wide receiver, not a spare part, and only 28-years-old. They were said to be interested in Sidney Rice earlier this offseason, prior to the draft. If they're going to chase after a receiver before the start of the season, only a big time guy like that would make sense.

I suspect the Rams will not be as willing to swap a second-round pick or the salary dollars needed to make such a move with other roster needs to be addressed.