Vikings Still Scrambling After Vincent Jackson Trade Falls Through
The 4 p.m. ET deadline to make a deal for San Diego wideout/holdout Vincent Jackson and have the Pro Bowler in time for Week 4 came and went without a trade.
The Vikings, already 0-2 and their passing game a mess with 2009 leading receiver Sidney Rice expected to miss half the season with a hip injury, were actively pursuing Jackson. But the Chargers' reported asking price of second- and third-round 2011 draft choices apparently was too high.
Now, the 40-year-old Favre, with one touchdown, four interceptions and a 56.1 passer rating that ranks fourth-worst in the league, will have to press on with the same group of wideouts -- led by Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin and Greg Camarillo -- that has combined for 13 catches, 129 yards and no scores. To date, Favre has had to rely on tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and tailback Adrian Peterson as his primary receivers -- a combined 18 receptions -- for an offense that has managed just 19 total points through two weeks after putting up 29 a game last season.
Of course, Minnesota (or any other team) can still deal for Jackson before the NFL's Oct. 19 trade deadline, but he won't be eligible to play regardless until Week 6. Jackson is serving a three-game suspension for violating the league's conduct code for a DUI arrest and also must sit three games for being placed on the Chargers' roster-exempt list after failing to report to training camp.
In the interim, the Vikings on Wednesday added Baskett, who entered NFL Films lore last February as a member of the Indianapolis Colts by failing to recovery a fairly significant onside-kick attempt by the New Orleans Saints during Super Bowl XLIV. Baskett, waived earlier this week by Philadelphia, has caught 76 passes for 1,080 yards and six TDs since entering the league in '06, but had just five catches last season.
That's a far cry from the instant impact that Jackson, with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and 16 touchdowns combined in 2008-09, could have given Favre as he tries to regain his form and touch three months removed from ankle surgery -- and barely six weeks since climbing off his tractor in Hattiesburg and agreeing to return for 20th season. An all-star threat downfield might have helped that struggling Minnesota offensive line look a little better, too.
This is a Super Bowl-or-bust season for the Vikings, so the draft choices San Diego asked for seem fairly inconsequential relative to the here and now. And considering three of the Vikings' most respected locker room leaders went to Mississippi to fetch Favre back to Minneapolis, it's hard to believe the bulk of the team -- even guys like Jared Allen seeking contract extensions -- would not have been on board with bringing Jackson in and giving him a pay day. Allen, in fact, was part of the Favre-chasing trio.
Now, commence the countdown until Rice returns -- six games (at least). For the sake of the Vikings, hopefully Favre can remain upright until then.
Otherwise, he might be a Baskett case.