Tag:San Diego Chargers
Posted on: July 29, 2010 8:04 pm

Merriman wants a no-trade guarantee (of sorts)

Shawne Merriman, it's been assumed, doesn't want to report to Chargers training camp until he gets a new deal.

However, the linebacker flipped that notion on its end with some quotes he gave to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune today, essentially stating that he doesn't want a raise or a new contract ... only an assurance that he won't get dealt .
"It's not about me wanting more money," Merriman said. "I will show what I deserve. I don’t have to ask for it. I feel like I've proved what I'm worth, and I will still prove it. To me, it really comes down to, 'Am I on the trading block this week? The third week of the season, am I on the block?' Where is that comforability [sic ] for me?

"I'm only coming back to be the guy on the defense. I'm not coming back to be a guy. I want to be on a team where someone is going to be building a defense around me."
The part about "building a defense" is a touch ludicrous. After all, Merriman's not exactly Darrelle Revis or anything.

But maybe this is right up A.J. Smith's alley -- if he agrees not to deal Merriman, Merriman will show up to camp for cheap and should show up for camp motivated as all get out. Smith might not want to pay Merriman long-term, but if he plays hard for the Chargers in 2010 and there's no lockout in 2011, both sides will win: the Chargers with games and Merriman with a new deal somewhere else.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: July 28, 2010 8:43 pm

Chargers make Gates NFL's highest paid TE

Interesting tweet from Chris Mortensen:

Filed to Espn: Antonio Gates will be highest paid TE. Agrees 5 yr extenson @ 7.235 mill per yr. $20.4 mil giuarantees w Chargers.

With Gates, a six-time Pro Bowler, now extended through 2015, does this mean a deal for Vincent Jackson and/or Marcus McNeil is in the cards?

--Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 22, 2010 10:18 pm

Norv Turner goes on the offensive

San Diego coach Norv Turner made a bold statement (Getty). San Diego coach Norv Turner must feel the pressure. He must know that his job only can be secure if San Diego, for the first time since 1994, advances to the Super Bowl. So, the perpetual hot-seated coach must figure: what the hell, I’ll go ahead and raise expectations.

At a lunch today, Turner told the local media, including the San Diego Union-Tribune , that "this has a chance to be the best team since I've been here."

Ah, nothing like giving your end-of-the-season critics massive amounts of ammunition if the Chargers, once again, have a January meltdown.

Plus, they’ll get little immediate help from LT Marcus McNeil and top WR Vincent Jackson – both could hold out for much of the season, and Jackson will have to serve a three-game suspension at the very least.

From Kevin Acee’s story:

Turner said he believes his coaching staff will be better for staying entirely intact for the first time since his arrival in 2007, that "we'll get back to being an elite running team" and the Chargers will have a more aggressive defense.

And because we seemingly cannot discuss Marcus McNeill and Vincent Jackson enough, Turner was asked about them (a lot) and made a case for the Chargers being prepared to absorb the blows of their expected absences.

Turner has made a point for months to acknowledge the Chargers would miss McNeill and Jackson if they do sit out (they will). He did so again yesterday but played up, especially, the readiness of young receivers Legedu Naanee and Buster Davis.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 22, 2010 2:29 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2010 2:50 pm

Merriman a Charger 'until I am told otherwise'

Shawne Merriman is one of many San Diego Chargers not, um, "thrilled" with his contract status. He joins, most notably, Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill as those steering clear of the Bolts' headquarters ; not to mention rookie Ryan Mathews who's been waffling on holdout chatter this week .

But that doesn't mean Merriman thinks he's done in San Diego. In fact, he was at least mildly enthusiastic about being a Charger when asked about his future on XX Sports Radio in San Diego :
“I am a San Diego Charger until I am told otherwise. The rest of the stuff is just talk to me and until I hear or get a call from someone saying you are not a San Diego Charger anymore, I am a San Diego Charger until I am done playing football. That is the way that I started when I came in and that is the way I am going to keep it until I go out. Until I am told otherwise I am going to continue to do what I am doing. Merriman also touched on a timetable for getting to camp, stating that he had no specific date in mind but would just "be ready when the time comes."

The former Defensive Player of the Year also touched on his upcoming Entourage cameo, but the primary point of the interview seemed to be that Merriman really, really wants to get back on the field and play football for San Diego.

One small problem there: if GM A.J. Smith isn't budging on Jackson and McNeill, why would he cave to Merriman, particularly when he reached for a replacement (Larry English) in the first round last year? He won't -- which means if Merriman wants to play in San Diego this year, it'll be without a long term deal.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: July 21, 2010 7:30 pm

Could Chargers leave San Diego?

Though the story hasn’t generated a lot of attention nationally, the Chargers’ bid to get a new stadium built in downtown San Diego has been an arduous process. Nick Canepa, a Union Tribune columnist, suggests that because of this, the team’s future in San Diego could be murkier than people realize.

Throughout their choppy, meandering eight-year voyage to discover welcome land for a new football stadium, the Chargers have fired no shots across bows and issued no threats. Nor have they asked for clearance at other ports, such as L.A.

The ultimatum, that they will find somewhere else to dock, has been provided courtesy of the media and those who see an NFL pirate under every shovel of dirt.

But, clearly, this is a passage nearing its conclusion, even if no destination has been clearly determined. My gut is that, if the efforts to get a downtown stadium built fail, this is it.

The man leading the charge in the new stadium efforts is Mark Fabiani, who told Canupa the Chargers are not threatening to leave, but “the reality is, after eight years and $10 million spent cycling through site after site, we’re not left with a lot of alternatives. There is no magic 100-acre site anybody’s heard about.”

Canepa delves further into the politics behind the Chargers’ frustrating efforts, at one point referring to the County of San Diego as a place where “where getting an outhouse built takes a ballot measure.” His column is worth reading.

-- Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 19, 2010 10:17 pm

SD rookie Mathews backs off "no holdout" talk

Earlier this month, Chargers first-round rookie running back Ryan Mathews promised to be in training camp on time. When the San Diego Tribune’s excellent beat writer, Kevin Acee, pointed out to the 12th overall pick that every rookie promises this, Mathews chuckled and said, Yeah, what makes (my situation) different, I think, is that I need to contribute this year. Being in camp on time will help me do that.”

Now, it sounds like Mathews has spent some time talking to his advisors. (Or maybe Vincent Jackson’s advisors.) Acee writes:

However, while he previously stated he had talked to his agent about his desire to be punctual, Mathews sounded today as he had been told a few things too.

"It's also a business," he said. "That's what I have to realize. ... I want to be on time. Hopefully that happens. If not, there's nothing I can do."

More noteworthy than Mathews' proclamation he wants to be on time is the fact that on July 9, third-round draft pick Donald Butler and fifth-rounder Cam Thomas agreed to contracts, meaning that the Chargers had signed all their picks except Mathews.

The Chargers do not have the best reputation for getting high-drafted rookies into camp on time. (LaDainian Tomlinson, Philip Rivers and Shawne Merriman all had holdouts.) 

-- Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: July 19, 2010 1:28 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2010 5:44 pm

Bolts resigned on Jackson/McNeil; say no to Owens

As recently as like three years ago, Terrell Owens would've had a shot at cracking CBS Sports' "Top Five Wide Receivers in the NFL " list.

Now? Child, please; he needs a team first.

The likelihood that he will find one has been narrowed further, provided you believe the comments made by A.J. Smith about Owens to the San Diego Union-Tribune 's Nick Canepa:

“We’re all set right now with our receivers,” says Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith, back from vacation a week before the opening of training camp. “I don’t want to be involved. A lot of people have us targeted [for Owens], but they know I wouldn’t do it.

The Chargers are clearly in a bizarre situation, because while they have a ton of talent on the offensive end, they could be without star wideout Vincent Jackson for a minimum of three weeks (his suspension ) and possibly up to 10 (provided he continues to hold out ).

In fact, Smith acknowledges in the same article, when referring to Jackson and Pro Bowl left tackle Marcus McNeill , that, "it's over with ... I think they're going to be here for six games, and then think they're going to be free." Yet, they still have clearly zero interest in the oft-troubled wideout.

All of this lends even more credence to something that our own Mike Freeman wrote recently : that Owens is being pseudo-banished by the NFL.

Think about it -- he's been rejected by the Panthers (Jon Beason, who practically laughed at the notion of TO coming to Carolina in an online chat ), the Redskins , the Bengals (even though Chad Ochocinco was reportedly pleading the brass to ink him), and now the Chargers. All of those teams need help at wideout, and yet, Owens can't find a home.

Adam Schefter tweets that Drew Rosenhaus texted him today to say he's "very confident" that Owens "will have a home within a few weeks," but making the presumption that someone will ink TO -- particularly given all the wideout-needy teams that have passed already -- just based on an agent's PR manuevers seems pretty optimistic.

Of course, injuries happen, even in training camp, and it's likely some team that will get desperate and give Owens a short-term, incentive-laden deal. But, on the bright side, even that doesn't happen, he's always got a future as a reality show sidekick . So there's that.

-- Will Brinson

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: July 14, 2010 7:50 pm

Chargers team doc investigated

More news involving the Chargers team doctor.

We first detailed the tribulations of Dr. David Chao in this post late last month. Today, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports federal drug enforcement agents raided Chao’s office two weeks ago, “because they had learned he apparently had written at least 108 drug prescriptions to himself since June 10, 2008, which violates controlled substance regulations.”

The good news for Chao? Jim Godes, Chao’s attorney, said the case as it pertains to Chao is closed.

The reason the DEA raided Chao’s office was due, in part, to former safety Kevin Ellison’s arrest when police found him with 100 illegal-obtained Vicodin pills. The DEA then investigated and determined Chao had written the 108 prescriptions to himself.

From the story:

The idea was “to identify controlled substances purchases and prescription activity by physicians associated with San Diego’s professional sports teams.”

The review found that from June 10, 2008 to June 10, 2010, one of Chao’s registration numbers had 65 controlled substance prescriptions issued in the patient name “David J. Chao M.D.” Another registration number issued to Chao had 43 in the same patient name. A third registration number had 50 in Chao's name.

“Because Dr. Chao is not a patient, my training and experience lead me to suspect that David J. Chao, M.D., has possibly self-prescribed or possibly used prescriptions to obtain controlled substances for office dispensing to patients, violating at least one of the these regulations which, as a registrant, he is required to obey,” DEA investigator Brenda Catano wrote in the affidavit.

This isn’t the first time Chao has been called into question.

In 2002, Chao was issued a $1,000 citation by the state medical board for failure to maintain adequate and accurate medical records. The charge stemmed from allegations Chao had unlawfully written narcotics prescriptions for former Chargers doctor Gary Losse, whose alleged addiction to such narcotics led to his being dropped by the Chargers in 1998, according to court records.

He has been dogged by other legal problems in recent years, having been sued 20 times since 1998 in San Diego Superior Court for medical malpractice, negligence, personal injury or fraud. At least five of those suits have been settled with undisclosed payouts to plaintiffs. Such settlements are not considered admissions of liability. In 2002, Abby Joyce Rueckert was awarded a $460,000 verdict by a jury after she sued Chao for severing an artery during surgery. Chao denied the accusations in court records.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Category: NFL
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