Tag:San Diego Chargers
Posted on: August 27, 2010 7:50 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 7:55 pm

V-Jax on sitting out the season: 'Absolutely.'

Posted by Will Brinson

Vincent Jackson's situation with the San Diego Chargers has grown increasingly awkward as the offseason progressed: the latest development had his agent Neil Schwartz insinuating that the Chargers don't seem inclined to trade him to anyone but the Seahawks, who don't seem inclined to pay Jackson what he wants .

In a sit-down interview with Jason LaCanfora for NFL Network (which LaCanfora mentioned on his Twitter account), Jackson said he would "absolutely" sit out the entire season if necessary. LaCanfora, in a teaser for the full interview on Total Access, asked Jackson what his options would be if the Chargers won't trade him or give him "fair market compensation."

"We're prepared [to sit out the season]," Jackson said. "I've been financially smart, taking care of things like that off the field so I'm ready for the long haul. But again, I miss football. I want to play football, I'm passionate about the game and I wouldn't be training and working as hard as I am if I didn't want to be on the field. So I'm hoping everything works out, but again, I don't hold my breath for anything -- I'm ready for whatever."

Remember, Jackson is going to miss at least three games because of his off-field incidents, and up to six if he doesn't

Asked if he could "see himself in a Chargers uniform in 2010" Jackson seemed, ahem, cautiously optimistic.

"Of course, you know, they have my rights," Jackson said. "That's where I'm still, kind of legally bound right now, and I have no problem putting on that jersey again."

Jackson also discussed his teammates, stating that he's been in contact with multiple players such as Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates and "all the guys have been very supportive." Jackson also added that he wasn't offended by Rivers' statement about the team moving on, pointing out that Rivers "has to get guys going in the right direction and make sure the team's not worried about who's not there."

However, he said there has been "no direct contact [with the front office] since the end of last season" and that he's "not even sure" if they want to trade him. Jackson told LaCanfora that there's been no attempt by San Diego to offer him any sort of long-term deal and when said he'd never asked for a trade.

"I have not," Jackson said. "Because that's not really my job -- my job is to play football. I've always been told you just take care of stuff on the football field and the rest will take care of itself. I belong [in San Diego], I think it's a good fit for us, but the league is a fly-by-night kind of thing and I'm ready to go wherever fits best."

Jackson offered "no excuse" for his second DUI and said he "made a poor choice" and that he could guarantee to another general manager that there would be "no off-the-field issues" with him in the future.

Given Jackson's demeanor and statements, it seems pretty safe to say that Jackson, if he's not bluffing about the "absolutely" thing, might not see the football field during 2010.

After all, it certainly appears that GM A.J. Smith doesn't intend to cave and give Jackson a long-term deal any time soon.

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Posted on: August 27, 2010 4:32 pm

Friday's preseason action: what/why to watch

Posted by Andy Benoit

Four preseason games on the docket tonight – all considered “dress rehearsals” for Week 1. Here’s what/why to watch.

Falcons @ Dolphins

You have brothers Peria and John Jerry squaring off. You have cornerback Benny Sapp’s highly-anticipated Dolphins debut. You have a forecast for rain (which, in Miami this time of year, usually means a downpour).

Strictly football-wise, Dolphins young cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Sean Smith have struggled this preseason. If they have another rough night, you may start to here serious whispers of concern coming out of South Beach.

Redskins @ Jets

There’s always the Haynesworth watch (which is a reason to tune in for the postgame coverage, as well). There’s also the Hard Knocks drinking/gambling game (predicting which plays make it on next week’s episode of Hard Knocks – the payout from this obviously has to wait until Wednesday night, but you can lay the groundwork for it now).

Donovan McNabb is not playing, which means you get to see Rex Grossman square off against Rex Ryan’s defense. Watching Grossman at the line of scrimmage against the swarming Jets will be like watching a rattled foreigner ask for directions in the middle of oncoming traffic. Should be entertaining.

Chargers @ Saints (8:00 ET, CBS)

We’d play the “Drew Brees versus his former team” angle here, but one has to assume Brees’s Super Bowl ring – and San Diego’s lack of Super Bowl rings – makes that rivalry somewhat of a dead issue. Especially in the preseason.

So, instead, we’ll watch this game to once again see how the Charger offense performs without star left tackle Marcus McNeil and wide receiver Vincent Jackson. For most fans, this will also be the first glimpse of first-round rookie running back Ryan Mathews.

Eagles @ Chiefs

Some are saying Matt Cassel has something to prove and a chip on the shoulder and whatever else it is that athletes supposedly find for motivation. Tonight will be Cassel’s truest test thus far in Charlie Weis’ system.

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Posted on: August 25, 2010 9:17 pm

Agent questions Bolts intentions to deal V-Jax

Posted by Will Brinson

We recently threw out the possibility of the Minnesota Vikings pursuing Vincent Jackson in a trade, following Sidney Rice's surgery on his hip. One of the problems, though, was that Jackson's contract demands were probably going to be too high. In fact, that ended up being the chief deterrent to Minnesota chasing him in a deal with San Diego.

Well, maybe.

Turns out, according to Jackson's agent Neil Schwartz, as related to Jason LaCanfora of NFL.com , the Vikings couldn't even get in the door when it came time to talk trade. Apparently, the only team the Chargers decided to let talk with Schwartz were the Seahawks.

"After the initial story came out, I got calls from four or five other teams asking about Vincent," Schwartz said, "but I told them I didn't have permission to talk to them about that player and they had to call San Diego."

According to LaCanfora, Schwartz, following the Vikes' decision to ink Javon Walker, went to the Chargers VP Ed McGuire and asked for

"I asked for that list of teams, but he wouldn't tell me," Schwartz said. "So I asked him, 'What are you guys asking for a trade?' And he said, 'I'm not telling you.'

"At that point, I said, 'Ed. It doesn't sound like you guys want to trade Vincent.'"

And that's where we stand now -- except things could get hairier if the Chargers don't find a new home for Jackson by September 4, because at that point he'd be subject to the roster exempt list (along with Marcus McNeil), in which case he'd miss the first six games of the season; three for his suspension and three for the roster-exempt status.

So sayeth the NFL -- the NFLPA on the other hand, according to LaCanfora and Schwartz, don't agree. Which means we could see some sort of arbitration coming, not to mention a larger void in an already fractured relationship.

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Posted on: August 25, 2010 10:32 am

Minnesota deems V. Jackson too expensive

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Our own Will Brinson had a pretty good idea Tuesday when he wondered if the Vikings – facing the loss of WR Sidney Rice for at least half the season because of hip surgery and WR Percy Harvin for the time being because of migraines – would try to acquire disgruntled San Diego WR Vincent Jackson.

Turns out that was a move actually discussed.

The Vikings apparently looked into the possibility of trying to trade for and sign Jackson – he’s got to be a better option than Javon Walker, right? – but Minnesota ran into the same problem that the Seahawks found when they asked permission to talk to Jackson. It would cost way too much money.

Here’s some analysis from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Acee writes, “several league sources said in recent days that no one is willing to promise $10 million a year to a player with Jackson’s baggage and inexperience. Jackson has led the NFL in yards per catch over the past two seasons, but two seasons is a relatively small body of work to deserve such a mega contract. Moreover, Jackson has been arrested twice for driving under the influence, something that led to him being suspended the first three games this season.”

Jackson, you’ll recall, declined to sign his restricted free agent tender offer of more than $3 million from San Diego and seems committed to sitting out much of the season. Coming off his best season as a pro (68 catches, 1,167 yards and nine TDs), he’s still only made one Pro Bowl in his four-year career. If he wants a five-year, $50 million deal (with $30 million guaranteed), he’s going to have to wait.

Nobody is going to pay that kind of money for a guy who still has plenty of question marks attached to his name.

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Posted on: August 24, 2010 1:11 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2010 1:18 pm

Vikings should make a play for Bolts' Jackson

Posted by Will Brinson

The news that 2009 Pro Bowler Sidney Rice will miss at least half the regular after undergoing hip surgery (and possibly more, depending on the timetable) is pretty devastating for the Vikings' hopes for 2010, since they'll likely be without a legit No. 1 wideout for most of the season. That's why it sure does seem logical for the Minnesota to inquire about picking up disgruntled wide receiver Vincent Jackson from the San Diego Chargers.

Jackson is currently holding out from Chargers camp and seems likely to bail on the season in San Diego -- so much so that the Chargers gave the Seattle Seahawks permission to chat   with Jackson and his agent about a contract in order to make a trade.

It's believed that the Bolts want a second-rounder for Jackson, and that price, given the Vikings need at wide receiver, is just about right for Minny.

Currently, the Vikings are staring down an ugly situation whereby their wide receiver depth chart reads as follows: Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Greg Lewis, Javon Walker. Dearth of talent aside, this is problematic for a few reasons.

First, Berrian is much, much better suited as a deep threat than a true No. 1. Secondly, Harvin's talents are ideally utilized in the slot position, where the Vikes can move him all over the field. Third, Lewis and Walker aren't guys you want being forced into semi-major roles, much less starting gigs, should another injury occur.

The possibility of dealing for Jackson isn't without its cons, though: One issue facing a possible deal is that the Vikings would almost certainly have to ink Jackson to a long-term deal. That's expensive, obviously, and they just opened up their wallet to guarantee that Brett Favre would return for 2010 (although, really, they should just demand he take a pay cut).

Also, Jackson will miss the first three games of the season due to an NFL-imposed suspension, which severely saps his value when talking both trade and contract.

So maybe management doesn't make it rain on a guy who'll be locked in as a Viking for a long time AND miss some of this season because of personal conduct issues, but at this point, with almost all of their chips firmly planted in the center of the "win now" table, why not?

They've got an uncapped year on their hands, and since they don't provide an inter-conference or inter-division threat to the Chargers, there's really no reason why they shouldn't be at least willing to discuss contract with another 2009 Pro Bowler to fill what is suddenly the biggest positional depth problem on a team that appears pretty desperate to throw everything at a Super Bowl run this year.

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Posted on: August 22, 2010 12:15 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2010 12:15 pm

Rivers won't back down

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

A nice column here by the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Tim Sullivan on Chargers QB Philip Rivers and what a tough SOB he is. Even during a meaningless preseason game, Rivers can’t stop himself from putting himself in danger to make a play.

Here’s what Sullivan was talking about:

To review: Late in the second quarter of their 16-14 dress rehearsal defeat by the Dallas Cowboys, the Chargers had moved the ball from their own 6-yard line to the Dallas 18. Needing three yards to sustain the drive on third down, Rivers completed a short flip to Darren Sproles, who picked up the required real estate, but was then separated from the ball by Cowboys’ linebacker Bradie James.

Rookie safety Barry Church claimed the loose ball at the Dallas 12-yard line and turned toward the Chargers’ goal as a Cowboys’ convoy formed to clear his path. By the time Church reached midfield, it appeared that the things most likely to prevent him from scoring a touchdown were, in order, a clipping penalty, a cramp and an unscheduled appearance by the Stanford band.

But here was Rivers, drifting toward the north sideline as a shambling deep safety, picking his way through the traffic like a pedestrian crossing a freeway, finding Church and then flattening him.

“I just knew he was going to do it,” Chargers coach Norv Turner said. “I prefer him to not do it in that situation. That being said, that’s the wrong way to think. He’s a football player. He’s out there playing. Go after it and do what he did.”

For Rivers’ part, he says he couldn’t just let Church score there without a fight. Yes, the preseason doesn’t mean much, but then Rivers asks: They’re still keeping score, aren’t they? Oh, they are? OK, I’ll keep playing hard then.

That attitude is one reason why Rivers is one of the top quarterbacks in the league. It’s also why he commands so much respect in the Chargers locker room.

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Posted on: August 22, 2010 9:10 am

So much for vanilla

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

An interesting trend has emerged this preseason – defenses which normally would play fairly vanilla against offenses who were doing much of the same are being more aggressive in exhibition games.

The National Football Post takes a look at these occurrences.

In fact, when the Chargers faced the Bears, San Diego blitzed so much (I saw a report where it was six of the first eight snaps) coach Lovie Smith decided to get QB Jay Cutler the hell out of there.

The Giants blitzed 24 times against the Jets. The list goes on.

“For me, I would just say I was trying to set a mentality,” Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell told the Post. “I’m going to be very aggressive. Yes, we want to play base, fundamental defense and we want to see people take on a block, shed a block, that kind of thing.”

Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers provides a dissenting opinion.

“Sometimes you can cover up some ills by blitzing all the time,” he told the Post. “If you feel like you have nothing to lose, that’s fine. But if you go into the season feeling you have to rely on the blitz all the time, sooner or later it catches up with you. Now is the time when we can see if we can play base, fundamental football. And if we can’t, and do it well, the blitzing might disguise it for a little bit. But it’s not going to disguise it for long. People figure you out too much in this game. For us, it starts with stopping the run. If we can stop the run, then we can do a lot more things.”

I’m sure this is a trend that opposing quarterbacks who are just trying to get down their timing before retiring to the sidelines for the second half would like to see end. As would their coaches.

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Posted on: August 21, 2010 3:00 pm

Tra Thomas retires

Posted by Andy Benoit

Marcus McNeill just got some leverage. Veteran left tackle Tra Thomas has decided to retire. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune broke the story. The Chargers brought Thomas in as a camp body to fill the place of McNeill, who is holding out.

As things stand right now, the Chargers are counting on Brandon Dombrowski at left tackle. Undrafted rookie Brady Bond is now the top backup tackle. Don’t be surprised if San Diego brings in a free agent.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com