Vincent Jackson’s trade rumors hit a fever pitch yesterday but he is still a member of the San Diego Chargers. Jackson’s agent, Neil Schwartz, says that several teams were interested and had contracts on the table, but they said that the Chargers were asking for too much, according to the Boston Globe.
Jackson has been holding out on the Chargers because he didn’t receive a long-term deal in the off-season. Part of the reason might be Jackson’s troubles outside of football, as he was suspended for multiple games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The trade deadline was yesterday for Jackson to play with a new team.
Other trades have made professional sports teams antsy and even less valuable when they gave away high-profile players. Here’s a look at how Vincent Jackson’s trade stands out compared to other wacky trades.
When the Edmonton Oilers traded ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988 in a five-player deal, it was regarded as one of the most shocking trades in sports history. USA Today reported in 2008 that the trade still has impacts on the NHL even now.
Gretzky, along with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski, were traded to Los Angeles for two players, three draft picks, and $15 million. The Kings got a steal. The trade was also credited with aiding the NHL’s expansion into warm-weather markets, as the Gretzky deal was seen as a viable marketing tool for Los Angeles to bring in more fans to a non-traditional hockey market.
When Shaquille O’Neal was traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009, it was a clear sign that Cleveland wanted to win an NBA title before LeBron James became a free agent in 2010. Even though it was touted as a blockbuster deal, O’Neal had been suffering from nagging injuries. O’Neal was finally traded for two players, a draft pick, and $500,000, according to ESPN.
Not only was the O’Neal trade a horrible idea since he didn’t play well in Cleveland, the Cavaliers didn’t keep James as he signed a deal with the Miami Heat in 2010 to play in Florida. Now Cleveland will likely be back at the bottom of the heap in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
Running back Ricky Williams was a firestorm when he was drafted by the Washington Redskins. Then Mike Ditka, who was coaching the New Orleans Saints in 1999, did the unthinkable. He traded his entire draft slots, which numbered six, for the running back, according to DraftHistory.com.
The Saints did get a good running back, as he improved his yardage every year he played in New Orleans. Three years later, he went to Miami and the troubled back did even better until he got injured. Ditka’s maneuver was seen as wasteful at the time, but he did get the best running back in the draft that year.
Vincent Jackson’s trade won’t be that big of a deal when he eventually goes to another team. For whatever reason, the Chargers want to hang on to him, despite the extraordinary measures the NFL went through to try to get him a contract with another team.
The other trades took a long time to complete because of the extraordinary players involved. This trade is different because Jackson is holding out, not because he’s all that. The Chargers are probably toying with Jackson to teach him a lesson about how to deal with management in the NFL.
The Boston Globe, USA Today, ESPN, and DraftHistory.com contributed information for this article.