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Jackson’s original five-year contract expired after last season. But because this is an uncapped year, he would have needed six seasons to become an unrestricted free agent.

Unhappy over not receiving a long-term deal in the offseason, Jackson refused to sign the one-year, $3.268 million contract he was tendered as a restricted free agent. When he and holdout left tackle Marcus McNeill didn’t sign their tenders by June 15, the Chargers were entitled to offer them 110 percent of their 2009 salaries, essentially cutting $2.5 million off the tenders. If either reports this year, it would be for the final six games in order to accrue a season toward unrestricted free agency.

Smith placed Jackson and McNeill on the roster exempt list on Aug. 20. He used the same tactic on tight end Antonio Gates in 2005. Gates missed the opener, a close loss to the Dallas Cowboys that helped contribute to the Chargers missing the playoffs that year.

A person with knowledge of the discussions said the Vikings and Chargers did have discussions about Jackson. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations.

With Pro Bowl receiver Sidney Rice out for at least another month and reigning offensive rookie of the year Percy Harvin not practicing on Wednesday because of a migraine headache, the Vikings only have four healthy receivers on the roster, none of whom have been productive in 2010.

Bernard Berrian, Greg Camarillo and Greg Lewis have combined to catch seven passes for 89 yards in the first two games and the Vikings signed free agent Hank Baskett on Wednesday to add some depth.

Coach Brad Childress declined to discuss Jackson specifically when he spoke to reporters on Wednesday a little over an hour before the deadline passed.

But the coach was asked in general terms about the team’s willingness to part with high draft picks to bring in a player for the final 12 games of a season who may not sign a long-term deal.

The Vikings have traded draft picks for marquee players before, including in 2008 when they sent a first-round draft choice and two third-rounders to Kanas City for defensive end Jared Allen. But the Vikings also signed Allen to a long-term contract before making the deal, ensuring that the high price they paid would keep him in Minnesota for the long run.

“They’re your bartering tool,” Childress said of draft picks. “That’s how you build with younger talent. If you do something for a guy like a Jared Allen, you want to know what you’re giving is commensurate with what you’re getting.”


AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.