Smith’s reluctance has to do with the fact that franchising Jackson will cost them $13.7 million next season because of a 20% that’s included for placing the tag on a player for the second straight season. Still, San Diego would like to keep their free agent receiver but obviously talks between the two sides haven’t progressed much since the end of the season.
Gehlken’s sources have told him that it’s “highly unlikely” that the Chargers will tag him right before the deadline which means San Diego has a very limited window to get something done or they’ll risk losing one of their best offensive weapons.
The problem for San Diego is that they need help at a number of positions much more than at receiver even with the loss of Jackson. The defense needs upgrades all over the place and the uncertainty regarding their offensive line basically leaves them with very little choice but to allow Jackson to leave unless they can come to a last minute compromise.
We have Jackson listed as the #13 best available free agent in our Top 50 Free Agents list.