Despite giving WR Vincent Jackson and OT Marcus McNeill an extra 24 hours to sign their restricted free agent tender offers, the Chargers now expect to play much of the 2010 NFL season without two of their stars, the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee writes.
“We lost a couple of great players today, and it hurts,” GM A.J. Smith told the paper. “We are trying to build a championship team, and losing the services of both Vincent and Marcus just made that more difficult – but not impossible. In due time, Coach (Norv) Turner will name two new starters. We will rally as a team, compete and try to win as many games as we can.”
It won’t be easy to replace the production of Jackson and McNeill. Jackson is coming off a 68-catch, nine-touchdown season, and every year he’s been in the NFL, his production has improved. McNeill, meanwhile, is a two-time Pro Bowler and will be sorely missed on the offensive line, protecting QB Philip Rivers’ blindside.
Acee expects both players to forgo signing what would be a hugely-reduced contract and then return to the team in mid-November to play the final six games – which would count to their service time as an accrued season. Acee explains how much money Jackson and McNeill will give up:
McNeill will lose $2.568 million as his tender is dropped to $600,000. Should he not report until after the Chargers’ 10th game, which numerous sources have said he will and the Chargers are expecting, he will make $212,000.
Jackson will have his tender dropped from $3.268 million to $583,000 (a $2.685 million reduction). He would make $206,000 if he doesn’t report until six games are left, though it remains unclear how an expected suspension of two to four games for his past DUIs will affect him.
Without them, expect newly-signed WR Josh Reed and OT Tra Thomas to take their places in the lineup.
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