In a move that comes as no surprise, Charger stars Marcus McNeil and Vincent Jackson did not sign their restricted free agent tenders yesterday, meaning both men are willing to leave $2.5 million on the table to stage their protest against not having long-term contracts. Expect lengthy holdouts.
Chargers GM A.J. Smith is always willing to play hardball. He’s already brought in a temporary replacement for both players in lumbering left tackle Tra Thomas and fundamentally-sound possession receiver Josh Reed. Neither Thomas nor Reed is a great fit in San Diego’s offense, but they’re both able bodies who can hold down the fort in training camp.
As for San Diego’s third RFA, Shawne Merriman, Chargers Rapid Reporter Boyce Garrison emailed this to us:
Merriman hasn't signed his one-year tender, but unlike Jackson and McNeill, his offer can't be reduced that much, since he played for over $3 million last year. He'll play for 110 percent of that.
Merriman likely will come to camp at some point. He wants a long-term deal and the only way he will get it is to play this season and prove the last two injury-filled years are over. He will be an unrestricted FA after this season.
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