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Burnett signing makes Wilhelm expendable

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    By Kevin Acee
    Union-Tribune Staff Writer
    6:34 p.m. July 24, 2009

    Rather than postpone the inevitable, the Chargers on Friday released linebacker Matt Wilhelm.

    “I want to give him an opportunity (to sign with another team),” General Manager A.J. Smith said of the timing.

    Wilhelm did not return messages, but his agent said he expected to have Wilhelm signed with a new team soon.

    Having never lived up to what the Chargers had hoped when they signed him to a five-year, $14 million contract at the end of the 2006 season, Wilhelm was replaced as the starter and ended up splitting time with Tim Dobbins last season.

    This offseason, the Chargers made linebacker Kevin Burnett their only free agent acquisition, which all but foretold the end for Wilhelm.

    “This is more about the signing of Kevin Burnett than it is Matt Wilhelm,” Smith added. “If Kevin Burnett had chosen another team, Matt Wilhelm would be the linebacker for the Chargers in 2009.”

    Wilhelm, 28, spent six seasons with the Chargers after being drafted in the fourth round in 2003. He became the starter in 2007 but started just seven of the Chargers' 18 games last season.

    Dobbins has shown a physicality Wilhelm lacked and has greatly improved in his pass coverage.

    Also, there are financial considerations. Dobbins will make $530,000 this season. Wilhelm was due to make $2 million.

    Steve Feldman, Wilhelm's agent, said he spoke with the Chargers after Burnett's signing and then not again until being informed of his client's release Friday.

    “I think when they signed Kevin Burnett, you had to keep your eyes and ears open,” Feldman said.

    Draft pick status

    The Chargers have agreed in principle with third-round draft pick Louis Vasquez, according to the player's agent.

    Terms are not known.

    Vasquez is expected to challenge veteran Kynan Forney for the starting job at right guard.

    Sources said the Chargers are also close to singing their three fourth-round picks and sixth-round selection Kevin Ellison. All agents of the second-day picks contacted Friday said they expected deals for their clients to be done by the time rookies report for training camp Sunday.

    The team is expected to begin in earnest negotiations with first-round pick Larry English. A source said early Friday those talks “haven't really even started.”

    That is not surprising, in that No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford and No. 5 pick Mark Sanchez are the only first-round picks to have signed.
  2. ChargerPessimist

    ChargerPessimist Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2008
    I'm actually feeling optimistic about Burnette, from what ive read he should fill in alright.
  3. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

    Jul 12, 2007
    As long as Burnett doesn't do a human impression of a doormat he's an upgrade.
  4. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Ya know what? Burnett didn't make Wilhelm expendable - Wilhelm did that himself. :tup:
  5. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

    Aug 15, 2006

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