Tag:San Diego Chargers
Posted on: August 11, 2010 8:05 pm

Merriman might be in camp this weekend

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com is reporting that Chargers LB Shawne Merriman will end his hold-out and return to training camp this weekend. Once there, he'll sign his $3.269 million tender. But then an interesting Tweet from Merriman himself, who writes, "All reports of me reporting to camp this weekend would come from the team 'San Diego Chargers' not 'sources.'"

Once he signs - if he, in fact, signs - LT Marcus McNeill and WR Vincent Jackson will be the lone San Diego hold-outs. On Tuesday, we told you why the team should sign Jackson but perhaps forgo McNeill .

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Posted on: August 10, 2010 2:30 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Chargers should pay V-Jackson; not McNeill

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

An interesting study by Pro Football Focus to determine, once and for all, if the Chargers should pay WR Vincent Jackson and LT Marcus McNeill what they’re demanding or if they should let them sit out most of the season and not let them collect their paychecks.

According to PFF, Jackson ranks as the fourth-best WR of 2009. But it’s more than that. He makes life easier for No. 2 WR Malcom Floyd, and without Jackson in the lineup to take away the pressure of the opponent’s No. 1 CB, it’s a legitimate question of whether Floyd will be as effective if he’s the No. 1 target of that team’s secondary.

And then, even if Floyd is OK as the No. 1 WR, it’s the domino effect. Can a player like Legedu Naanee be helped by Floyd in the same way Floyd was helped by Jackson? Either way, the consensus here is that the Chargers should pay Jackson, even though he’s facing a three-game suspension.

The same cannot be said for McNeill. Although McNeill is a Pro Bowler, PFF writes he’s not a good run-blocker and, actually, he’s not a great pass-protector either. Plus, the LT position as a whole might be more undervalued this year, because the Super Bowl champion Saints feature a LT in Jermon Bushrod who’s not exactly spectacular.

More from PFF:

What’s more, (McNeill) has struggled against the top pass-rushers. Dallas’ dynamic duo of DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer had four pressures from 34 pass plays despite McNeill getting tight end help on a third of those plays. And if he opts to play rather than hold out, he’ll be relieved that injured Broncos pass rusher Elvis Dumervil won’t be lined up against him — McNeill lost the battle of “Doom” both times in 2009.

We’d advise the Chargers look at how the Super Bowl champions managed to move on without their similarly overrated franchise left tackle (Jammal Brown). The circumstances may be different, but injury forced the Saints to put blindside protection in the hands of their QB — and the end results were a shiny Vince Lombardi trophy, an increase in draft picks and a lot of money saved.

Not that any of this will change GM A.J. Smith’s mind – Smith has said he’s moved on without Jackson and McNeill – but it must be comforting for him to know that more than one person agrees that he shouldn’t give in to McNeill’s demands.

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Posted on: August 2, 2010 10:27 pm

Was LaDainian Tomlinson holding the Bolts back?

Let's be perfectly clear on one thing: LaDainian Tomlinson is a future Hall of Famer, a class-act of a football player (and a person), and -- most importantly to this subject matter -- he helped make the San Diego Chargers a dominant franchise of the 2000's.

However, in reading what is a fantastic piece by Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune , one gets a very clear sense that Tomlinson's veteran/legend status was something that made many of the other players -- including equally high profile players like Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates -- on the Chargers' roster uncomfortable.

“I don’t know how everyone feels or if they felt it,” said Rivers, who answers questions about Tomlinson the way someone walks through a minefield. “Maybe it was a little bit of a relief. Maybe it’s a feeling of, ‘I can do a little more without wondering what he thinks.’ ”

"Sometimes you would get the sense that people felt bigger than the team,” Gates said. “Not to say it was an issue, but we know it’s not an issue for sure now.”

Acee makes it very clear that his story is not "about the Chargers being better off without Tomlinson" but instead about a locker room "metamorphosis" that wasn't happening with LT on the roster.

And really, I recommend reading the entire thing; not just because I'm an unabashed Rivers homer (I am), but because of the candor that comes through from some of the quotes, including this relative bombshell from the former NC State product:

“That got real touchy the last 18 months,” Rivers said.

Specifically, he's referring to Tomlinson's unhappiness at his reduced role in the Bolts' offense. But the full assessment of the quotes show that it wasn't just on the field where Tomlinson had drifted behind Rivers -- it was the locker room too. Apparently, playing in the AFC Championship Game without a freaking ACL (and you'll recall, LT was on the sideline for that one) will garner some respect from your teammates.

And that's why it's Phil Rivers' team now, and probably for a long time down the road.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: August 2, 2010 5:00 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 5:37 pm

AFC West Preview, Podcast Style

We're incredibly close to having weeks and weeks and weeks of football without a break. It's a wonderful feeling, no? To celebrate, the Facts and Rumors blog decide to fire up the old podcast machine.

We're getting things rolling with an AFC West preview -- Chiefs' fan and NBA F&R blogger Matt Moore joins us to tell you exactly how things are going to pan out in the incredibly weak division.

Will Ryan Mathews replace LaDainian Tomlinson's production? Are the Raiders really on the right track to winning again? Can Tim Tebow save the Broncos? And will Yoda Charlie Weis teach grasshopper-in-training Matt Cassel how to revive a failing franchise?

All that and more, all for the low, low price of clicking a play button. Got a question you want answered on the show? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or email will.brinson [at] cbs [dot] com

We'll be running out a few of these a week, so there's plenty of time. Oh, and also, be a friend and subscribe either by RSS or iTunes below.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: August 1, 2010 7:43 pm

A.J. Smith is 'done talking' about McNeil, V-Jax

Obviously, the biggest storyline surrounding the San Diego Chargers is the absence of Marcus McNeil and Vincent Jackson from the team's training camp. Anytime you have two Pro Bowlers missing from your squad, it's something the press wants to know about.

But GM A.J. Smith doesn't care what we want. Because he's "done talking" about the guys who want new deals.
“I’m done talking about Vincent (Jackson) and Marcus (McNeill),” he said. “Our season is under way now. They have made a business decision, along with their agents, to not be a part of the team. They are not pleased with our position, and that is their right. Our total concentration will be on players that are trying to help us win now. If they should ever rejoin us at any time, I will be happy to address the situation with you then.” This fits right in line with Smith's previous stance that he was prepared to lose both Jackson and McNeil. He was also asked about Shawne Merriman (albeit separately) and had a similar answer:
“I’m done talking about Shawne,” Smith said. “Our season is under way. Our total focus will be on players that are here. This camp will go by fast, and the Chiefs game will be on us fast.” So, yeah, Smith is making it pretty clear that he's not even going to PRETEND to play ball with these guys that want new deals.

And at this point, it might be too late for Jackson and McNeil to even bother trying to show up. Sure, they could, but they've likely angered some teammates at this point. Clearly, Smith isn't thrilled about the situation.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: August 1, 2010 3:36 pm

Only seven to go

And now they’re down to seven. Seven unsigned first-round draft picks, of course.

Now that, as the San Diego Union-Tribune reports this afternoon, No. 12 pick RB Ryan Mathews has signed a five-year, $26.65 million deal ($15 million of which is guaranteed) with the Chargers, 25 of the 32 first-round selections are officially members of their respective squads.

Those missing in action (or, more accurately, those who haven’t come to terms): No. 2 DT Ndamukong Suh of Detroit; No. 6 OT Russell Okung of Seattle; No. 9 RB C.J. Spiller of Buffalo; No. 10 DT Tyson Alualu of Jacksonville; No. 21 TE Jermaine Greshman of Cincinnati; No. 26 NT Dan Williams of Arizona and No. 31 DE Jerry Hughes of Indianapolis.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 31, 2010 9:20 am

Vincent Jackson to the Redskins?

If the Chargers do indeed trade Vincent Jackson, expect the disgruntled receiver to go to either the Redskins or Seahawks. This is according to NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora. V. Jackson (US Presswire)

Jackson spent time this past offseason working out with Donovan McNabb in Arizona. The Redskins have no viable wideout aside from Santana Moss (dinosaur Joey Galloway is actually getting first team reps right now). They’re reportedly disenchanted with third-year receivers Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas. Both players lack downfield speed and quick change-of-direction, which, factored with their remedial coverage reading abilities, makes “getting open” a challenge.

The Seahawks come up whenever any star receiver is on the market. That could be because T.J. Houshmandzadeh is, deep down, more of a No. 2. Seattle actually has decent receiver depth, though. Deon Butler is expected to be better; Deion Branch is serviceable in the slot; and back in spring, coaches were giddy about the catch-and-run prowess of second-round rookie Golden Tate.

All this said, there’s still no guarantee that Chargers GM A.J. Smith will give in and trade Jackson.

-- Andy Benoit

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Posted on: July 30, 2010 8:41 pm

Marcus McNeill, Chargers talking contract

Left tackle Marcus McNeill and the San Diego Chargers have re-opened contract negotiations.

NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora writes:

McNeill has yet to sign his reduced restricted free-agent tender, but he'd like to remain a Charger and work out a long-term deal.

McNeill is optimistic that something can be worked out, though these talks have been preliminary. But the dialogue is scheduled to resume through the weekend, according to the source, and could result in a face-to-face session sometime in the next few weeks. Ample time remains before the start of the season to have something done, and the odds of working out a long-term deal with McNeill certainly seem higher than they are with the team's two other unsigned veterans, Shawne Merriman and Vincent Jackson.

-- Andy Benoit

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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