The Minnesota Vikings expect to convene either Sunday night or Monday on whether to make a serious play for San Diego Chargers suspended wide receiver Vincent Jackson, according to team and league sources.
Under a settlement reached Thursday, Jackson has to sit out the first four games of the season under suspension -- instead of six -- if he is traded by the Chargers to a new team by 4 p.m. Wednesday.
A team source said Vikings owner Zygi Wilf will be the final authority on a possible trade because Jackson wants a contract that will average $9.5 million per year and contain $30 million in guaranteed money. If the Vikings are willing to pay that amount, the Chargers are expected to ask for two draft picks, one of them at least a second-rounder for the Pro Bowl wideout, who is a restricted free agent.
However, the Vikings have some concerns about Jackson's character after he was suspended for violation of the personal conduct policy following a second arrest for driving under the influence. The Vikings did have success when they traded for former Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen, who also had been suspended after a pair of DUI violations.
The Vikings are also weighing acquiring Jackson and whether it would influence future contract negotiations with Sidney Rice, who is currently out after hip surgery. Rice is expected to return in six to eight weeks. Also, the Vikings are paying wide receiver Bernard Berrian $7 million this year and they used last year's first-round pick on Percy Harvin.
The Vikings are considering offering Jackson a one-year deal worth between $4 million and $6 million with a guarantee they will not franchise him next offseason. Under those conditions, the Chargers might be willing to take lesser compensation, such as a third-round pick they would have hoped to receive next April as a compensatory pick were Jackson to leave as a free agent. Even though there is a draft, there is some uncertainty about the compensatory pick formula, a source said.
Chris Mortensen is ESPN's senior NFL analyst.