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Assigning blame is tricky in Bolts mess

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by CoronaDoug, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Assigning blame is tricky in Bolts mess
    Jackson, McNeill could sit out entire season

    Wide receiver Vincent Jackson (left) and left tackle Marcus McNeill are in a salary standoff with the Chargers.

    Receiver Vincent Jackson and left tackle Marcus McNeill want long-term deals and don’t want to risk injury while waiting for them.

    General Manager A.J. Smith and the Chargers are not doing long-term deals while the NFL’s labor situation is uncertain.

    And so, the sit-outs have reached a new level of direness.

    Jackson and McNeill, both restricted free agents, are not going to sign their tenders Monday. So say several sources familiar with the thinking of the players and their agents.

    The Chargers, as of Tuesday, will lower Jackson’s and McNeill’s 2010 salaries to 110 percent of their ’09 pay. That would mean a forfeiture of about $2.5 million each.

    Once it is cut, it’s not coming back up. And once it is cut, the players aren’t showing up.

    Since Jackson and McNeill were not going to play for $3.168 million and $3.268 million, respectively, they certainly are not going to play a full season for a fraction of that.

    It is increasingly likely that the two players will not sign with the Chargers until after the season’s 10th game. They would come in then because they need six games to earn an accrued season.

    Still, it remains possible one or both could sit out the entire season.

    Many wonder how two players who have made less than $3 million in their careers can afford to not play.

    But not being paid by the Chargers is not a concern to the two players, sources say. Jackson and McNeill are committed to seeing this protest through, and they have the means to weather not playing in 2010 and potentially 2011 should the owners lock out players.

    No one is deluded (or outright deceitful) enough to deny the Chargers are much better off with McNeill and Jackson on the field.

    And if you had to choose which one will be missed more, tough as it might be considering Jackson’s ability to stretch the field and his emergence as one of the NFL’s most dependable and dangerous receivers, the absence of McNeill, who protects the franchise quarterback’s blind side, would have to be the one causing heartburn among the Chargers and their fans.

    Assigning blame in the Jackson-McNeill conundrum is tricky, if not impossible.

    Both were scheduled to be unrestricted free agents this offseason, but a provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement set in motion by 2010 having no salary cap pushed the requirement for unrestricted status from four to six years of service. Jackson has five years, McNeill four.

    Blame the owners for making a deal in 2006 they find unacceptable four years later. Blame the NFL Players Association for accepting this ridiculous stipulation.

    Blame A.J. Smith and the Chargers for not stepping up to pay Jackson (who played in his first Pro Bowl in February after his second straight 1,000-yard season) and McNeill (who went to the Pro Bowl after the 2007 and ’08 seasons).

    The Colts, after all, awarded restricted free agent safety Antoine Bethea with a four-year, $27 million deal Friday.

    But such contracts have been sparse around the league this offseason, and the Colts don’t have more than a half-dozen starters to make happy in the next 12 months.

    In addition to the aforementioned labor unrest, the team is explaining its inactivity by pointing to the volume of players (also Malcom Floyd, Shawne Merriman, Darren Sproles, Stephen Cooper, Eric Weddle and others) whose contracts are up after ’10. The Chargers won’t keep them all but want to make sure they keep the right ones.

    Blame Smith for being a hard guy.

    No, he did not have to send letters to Jackson and McNeill informing them they faced a reduction in their tender. But he needed to know who his players are. And the Chargers are not the only team to send the letter.

    The Patriots sent one to Logan Mankins, the Broncos to Elvis Dumervil. Those two played in the last Pro Bowl with Jackson.

    The Browns sent letters to all five of their unsigned RFAs. The Buccaneers sent one to left tackle Donald Penn. The Saints sent one to Pierre Thomas. And there were more letters to more players.

    The reality, too, according to those familiar with the thinking of the players and their agents, is that Jackson and McNeill weren’t going to play for their original tenders anyway.

    Blame the players for not accepting their plight and honoring the system.

    Jackson and McNeill could choose to sign their tenders by Monday, report for training camp and play in 2010 knowing their big paydays await. But they won’t be the only players who continue staying away. Mankins is one possibility to join them on the sideline.

    What can be done to salvage this situation, salve these wounds, save these relationships?

    Only time will tell.

    This is a shame.

    The Chargers like both players.

    McNeill, it can be certain, is high on the team’s list of players it wants to sign to long-term deals. Only tight end Antonio Gates, whose contract expires after this season, is likely going to be targeted before McNeill.

    But the Chargers have not even begun talking with Gates, so everyone else has to wait.

    One solution might be to give Jackson and/or McNeill a higher one-year salary — perhaps something near the average 2010 salary of the top 10 players at their positions. That would be about $9 million for McNeill and $8.5 million for Jackson.

    It’s not going to happen, because the Chargers are not going to spend money like that right now. If they were, they’d just start forking over long-term deals.

    But the Chargers could do it, just this once for these two players. It wouldn’t even be like Smith was caving or had to fear it would be used against him in future years. Once the labor mess is fixed, this circumstance won’t come up again.

    The thinking (at least in part) in not trading Merriman and letting him leave after the 2010 season for no compensation is that the Chargers are a better team with him in ’10. Well …

    Norv Turner will do whatever is necessary to adjust and make sure Philip Rivers is protected. And even missing its leading receiver from the previous season, the Chargers’ offense would be loaded.

    But, really, should the Chargers have to work that much harder to achieve the goal that has eluded them for decades?

    Kevin Acee: (619) 293-1857; kevin.acee@uniontrib.com

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/jun/13/assigning-blame-tricky-bolts-mess/
     
  2. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Can we actually get to and win a SB without these two guys?
     
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    You mean Acee & AJ? :lol:
     
  4. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Requires that Tra Thomas still play at a high level and Davis or a UDFA finally steps it up, and that's to go on top of needing Mathews and the rookies and second year guys (English, Vasquez, Martin, Ellison maybe) to take a big step forward.

    I don't know but I'd lean towards no
     
  5. scratchnz

    scratchnz BoltTalker

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    DEFINATELY NOT!! :tdown:
     
  6. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

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    Those players get so much money.

    Why isn't more than 3 Million Dollars enough to play for one year ?

    I like them all, but I can't understand why they don't show up.
     
  7. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Well, you just never know when you may have to pay off some barfly, settle a big civil suit because you killed someone with your drunk driving, or need to hire legal counsel to beat a drug rap. :icon_evil:
     
  8. Chargers-Superhero

    Chargers-Superhero Just win the Damn SB !!!

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    No. Couldn't do it before, what makes you think we can do it this year without them. So we are loaded with talent, so is other teams in the AFC.
     
  9. !~BOLT~!

    !~BOLT~! Well-Known Member

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    Why not, we haven't won shyt with them.
     
  10. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    I get a good laugh at all the doom and gloom over these guy's not signing. Winning the Lombardi in Dego would be great, not to much could be better on the sports level. I love the game and whether they sign or not I'll watch and root just as hard. They'll still be a top team in the AFC and who knows what will happen and anything can in the NFL. Hell, the Ravens won one with NO offense so it is possible to go all the way.
     
  11. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    Who says we can't? I say why the hell not, we have plenty of other weapons and an improving defense. I've been saying this for years now, our defense just needs to be solid and we'll win it. (And whenever we sweep the division.)
     
  12. sdchrger

    sdchrger Well-Known Member

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    I blame George W Bush for this mess.
     
  13. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    basically if mcneil and jackson don't sign they're either getting very bad advice or they are nuts.

    The chargers are just one of several teams going through the same thing. Tendered players not wanting to sign their tenders.
     
  14. !~BOLT~!

    !~BOLT~! Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you Foobs. I really don't like the thought of anyone refusing 4 million a year in this economy it's pretty insulting to those who have suffered in the downturn.
     

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