Rounding up the trade targets, we look at a player of great ability that Seattle has almost no reason to pursue: Vincent Jackson.
Player: Vincent Jackson
Likelihood Of Trade: According to the NFL story reporting Jackson's suspension, NFL franchises knew Jackson was in line for a suspension and it should not impact his trade value. It does, of course. It does, because even if the rest of the NFL knew Jackson was likely to be suspended, we did not know that. The official announcement might not change Jackson's actual trade value, but it changes his perceived trade value and it changes what would be considered a fair return for his services. It also matters because though it might have been very likely Jackson would be suspended, it wasn't official, and official is official, and official means Jackson is very likely to miss the first three games of the 2010 season.
The suspension may not radically change Jackson's trade value, but it gives him incentive to sign his tender and attempt a push for his next contract when he has better leverage. That contract, the contract a player signs after their rookie contract expires, is typically the most lucrative contract an NFL player ever signs. If you can imagine every job interview, every performance review, every chance to negotiate salary or a raise you will ever endure, put into one extended negotiation, that is approximately what Jackson is engaged in. It doesn't make a lick of sense to pursue a raise when your stock is down and your employer is holding all of the cards.
Does Seattle Need Him: Any team could add Jackson and be better, but does Seattle need a superstar deep threat? No, not really. Jackson is primarily a deep threat. He ranked sixth in passes listed as "deep" as a percentage of all targets, first in total deep targets, 49, and first among number-one receivers in percentage and total targets. Matt Hasselbeck lacks the arm strength to cash in on Jackson's size and speed. Seattle seems to be quietly edging Hasselbeck out, but though J.P. Losman and Charlie Whitehurst have the requisite arm strength, they lack about everything else. Trading for Jackson without an established quarterback is putting the cart before the horse.
How Much Will He Cost: A.J. Smith has little doubt who won the Charlie Whitehurst trade. True or not, it doesn't help Seattle's position in negotiations. In most battles of wits, being underestimated is an advantage, but in negotiation, seeming weak or ingenuous is a killer. Whatever Seattle thinks it should pay for Jackson, Smith will likely ask for more. He doesn't have to move Jackson. Jackson will eventually report. Second-round contracts are relatively small, and Jackson was paid less than one million dollars last season. His tender will pay him $662,000, an absolute pittance for a number one receiver. So, Smith retains a hugely valuable player at a bargain price if Jackson signs. Jackson has little leverage to force a big contract and little money to fall back on. Seattle does not need a deep threat, does not have the talent to maximize Jackson, and is not in a strong position to negotiate. This is a total non-starter.