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Canepa: Chargers must keep Jackson

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Canepa: Chargers can't let Jackson walk
    By Nick Canepa
    Monday, February 13, 2012

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    Let me give it to you straight. The Chargers must re-sign Vincent Jackson — for their sake, for the sake of A.J. and Norv, for the sake of San Diego’s future well-being, and for a little football peace in my (and your) time.

    Other than my astute observation that they won’t be as good without V.J., allow me to further explain.
    The Chargers are about to enter perhaps their most significant football year since the franchise moved here from L.A. in 1961. Their fan base is restless and angry. The organization is trying to get a new stadium built, and more mediocrity, acute stubbornness and allowing stars to leave willy-nilly doesn’t figure to translate into votes, concrete and steel.

    Right or wrong — and I believe it’s wrong — there are members of our populace who see ulterior motives under every Spanos loafer.

    It doesn’t take Stephen Hawking to determine coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith are each starting along this journey with one foot out the door and the other on a slippery slope. This is a must-win season for them, and while anything’s possible — as average as they were last year, they came within a dropped Philip Rivers snap of making the playoffs — they aren’t going to get better sitting on their complacency.

    Because they no longer tower over the AFC West. They’re more like a parking garage housing slightly better cars than everyone else.

    Smith basically has promised that changes are forthcoming. NFL free agency opens four weeks from today, but unless someone sticks his head in a vice, Smith isn’t going berserk. He seems willing to at least depart a bit from his reluctant pier — he needs defensive help and he can’t count on all of it right away through the draft — but don’t expect a cannonball splash once A.J. cranes his prizes off the good ship Free Agent.

    The Chargers will have several unrestricted free agents of their own. The re-signing of center Nick Hardwick (if he chooses to continue playing) is a must, considering the uncertainty of left guard Kris Dielman’s health, and the probability of left tackle Marcus McNeill’s release. If McNeill goes, it’s imperative Smith re-signs monster left tackle Jared Gaither, whose play helped turn San Diego’s season after the Chiefs foolishly let him go.

    I’d say tailback Mike Tolbert, valuable as a runner and on special teams, should return, as should nose tackle Antonio Garay, who is a good player when allowed some rest. Jacob Hester is solid, if unspectacular, but teams always need his kind.

    The big name is Jackson, who after a few troubled years had an $11 million franchise tag put on him in 2011. The Chargers could hang a $13 million tag on him this year, if worse comes to worse, which it probably will, because word is that the team plans to allow Jackson to walk down the aisle of the free agent market.

    Which is going to be a tremendous mistake, because they absolutely will not be able to replace him with an equal.

    When wideouts Jackson and Malcom Floyd and tight end Antonio Gates are on the field — granted, it hasn’t been often enough — Rivers has multiple huge targets, few better in The League. Break them up, and this offense isn’t going to be as good. Period. And that means the team’s not going to be as good. Period.

    Playing in all 16 games last year, Jackson averaged 18.4 yards on 60 catches and scored nine touchdowns. He’s had trouble in the past with a pair of DUIs, and Smith rightfully was concerned about signing him long-term. But Jackson’s been a model citizen since. He’s a gamer. He’s one of the top receivers in the sport.

    If Smith was willing last year to give all that dough to safety Eric Weddle, who wasn’t nearly as established at the time, then he should do it with Jackson and not allow another of the star players he brought in here to wander off.

    I know it’s not my money, but Dean Spanos has a lot of it and he wants to win and he wants a new stadium. Offense is their best seller now. Without Jackson, the product is going to suffer.

    You look at the other free agent wideouts and find New England’s Wes Welker, Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson, New Orleans’ Marcus Colston, Kansas City’s Dwayne Bowe and Indy’s Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon.

    There’s not one I would take over Jackson. Welker will stay in New England because Tom Brady needs him (as Rivers needs Jackson). Philly more than likely will tag Jackson. Colston probably will remain in New Orleans because Drew Brees needs him (as Rivers does Jackson). Bowe’s too up and down. Wayne has been a terrific player but he’s not Reggie Wayne anymore. You want Garcon as your No. 1?

    Forget about the draft. Smith has to go in directions other than receiver. Besides, he did OK in getting Vincent Brown in last year’s third round.

    Smith, Turner & Co. have to sit down and determine how to make the team better. And if they believe dumping Vincent Jackson will help them improve, well, maybe they’d all better update their resumes.
     
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  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    At the very least I want to see a tag and trade.

    But really we can't afford to lose him, it'd be huge step backward.
     
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  3. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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  4. RipTheJacker

    RipTheJacker Well-Known Member

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    This isnt the NBA, those deals dont happen. In the past 10 years, i think ive seen it happen once (peerless price)
    Dont expect that change this year, AJ would rather collect that 3rd round comp pick next year than try anything like that this year
     
  5. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Well don't forget Jared Allen and Matt Cassell. And I hear the Eagles will ty to tag/trade DeSean, who is not going to be nearly as sought after as VJ.

    Its rare because you have to trade them quick, before the league year starts otherwise you're on the hook for the money. And the team you're trading them to can hold out until the last minute to drive the price down if they know you really want to get rid of the guy. But not impossible.
     
  6. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Cassell yes... Allen was a restricted free agent, if I'm not mistaken (I could be, but I don't think I am).

    Also, I have to point out the irony that Canepa (or whoever his editor is) chose a photo of Jackson doing the one thing he should be constantly knocked-on for: Body-catching the bloody ball. Canepa may have an argument that overall none of the other FA WR's listed are comparable to VJax, but I tell you what... Dwayne Bowe, Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne, and even Pierre Garcon all do a much better job catching the ball with their hands and not trapping it into their body (and this very act is significant because it results in less drops and reduces the likelihood of INT's produced by tipped balls).

    Edit: Also, tag and trades if they weren't rare before are likely to be non-existent moving forward since it's been heavily called into question as to whether they violate the "good faith" ideal of the CBA by not allowing the player to at least test the market if the team has no actual intent of keeping him. The Player's Union would file an injunction faster than you could say Legedu Naanee.
     
  7. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Canepa talking football is like Helen Keller teaching sharpshooting.
     
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  8. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    I don't understand how a team could expect to be great without great players. It's hard enough to find great players to put on your team. But when you have one, he has grown up in the system and he produces, the probability that you will get more value from him rather than one or more substitute players seems far far higher. But what do I know?
     
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  9. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Our passing game did fine in 2010 without him. I think he is more of a nice to have luxury than he is a must have.
     
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  10. AnteaterCharger

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

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    I maintain you could match or exceed the production of Jackson with a healthy Floyd, Brown and a third receiver like a Royal or a Meachem. But that includes the addendum that such money not used on Jackson be used to bring in a major free agent.

    I'm inclined to agree though bring back Tolbert, Hardwick for sure
     
  11. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    I'm having trouble keeping a straight face on this one, as if there's really
    any question re. the smartest course of action. AJ, PAY THE MAN!
     
  12. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Totally agree, except I still don't believe we need a "Major free agent". I think we just need quality free agents like we got in 2004 when we signed Goff, Foley, and Godfrey, none of which were major free agents, but all played large parts in the turnaround of this team
     
  13. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    I suppose an argument could be made that if the overall talent level has fallen, you might get a better result from signing 2 or 3 mid-level free agents, than getting one big name impact FA. That would be providing that all those pickups were clear improvements in critical positions of need.
     
  14. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I think we have enough holes that that is the approach we need to take. We have a ton of positions where the guy is a free agent or not worthy of starting.
     
  15. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Royal would be an excellent acquisition.
     
  16. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I'd look at Royal and Ted Ginn Jr. Both could be good #3 and #4 WR's, and both can also be quality kick/punt returners
     
  17. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    What's Goodman going to do then......... be just a gunner like Osgood? Been down that road before. ;)
     
  18. AnteaterCharger

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

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    Occupy a spot in the unemployment line?

    Regarding my comment on getting a major free agent, I think that a major free agent acquisition would be needed strictly from the public relations point of view. That it wasn't AJ and Dean being cheap and not spending up to the cap (nevermind that they have every single year since 2004), but that the Chargers took money from one position to boost production in another position. You could at least make a case for that. But if we end up with Ahmad Brooks and Eddie Royal (who I'd be happy with acquiring) alot of fans will scream that they're being cheap for some nefarious purpose.
     
  19. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Find the local unemployment line
     
  20. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I agree, but I think that is why AJ and the chargers terrible PR staff need to do a better job of making fans understand what they are doing, and that they ARE spending money. AJ needs to get Kevin Acee writing an article showing how the vast majority of "big named free agents" NEVER duplicate the production they had before getting a big contract
     
  21. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    I'd love to see VJ get a long-term deal with the Bolts but I don't want them to blow their wad just to get him. His camp needs to compromise a bit too because there will be other offers and they will likely be more $$ than the Chargers'. I doubt very much that the Chargers would low ball VJ. He is worth spending money on, just not worth breaking the bank. I'd have a hard time saying any one player would be. We have other needs to fill as well.
     
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  22. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    It is a bit of a conundrum...... while Jackson is an important player, his presence on the team didn't prevent us from missing the playoffs the last two years. He's a difference makers sure, but just how much?

    I'm all for retaining Jackson, but not at the expense of improving the team in other areas. The talent level of the roster has seriously dropped over the past 5 years. As much as some fans want to blame everything on a lack of coaching, the talent isn't there to win a championship.

    Keeping Jackson will prevent a further decline in talent at the WR position, but it won't upgrade the team either. Therefore, we can't devote so much money to a new contract for Jackson, that it prevents us from bringing in better FA talent (for the defense in particular). The status quo won't get it done. We need to get better fast, and that won't happen purely through the draft. We need immediate impact players.... they can best be found in free agency.
     
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  23. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    I agree with you both.

    I think too much gets made of having the "T.O./Moss" prototype of WR than is really necessary when you have a top flight QB. When your QB isn't among the best (see the Matt Cassell's, Tarvaris Jackson's, and I would even contend Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco's of this league) then having a more elite receiver to compensate for the shortcomings of your QB is of greater necessity.

    Look across the league at some of the receivers who are finding great success and there are plenty that, at least in my opinion, are far more a product of the QB throwing them the ball than the other way around. These are your Miles Austin's, your Marques Colston's, your Victor Cruz's (until proven otherwise with a bit more consistency), Jordi Nelson's, etc. In most cases, if you give an above average QB a WR who can get separation, who has quality hands (and uses them to make catches away from his body), and who runs precise routes, the combination is going to put up better than average numbers. Now in my opinion, Jackson is not on the level with the Andre Johnson's, Larry Fitzgerald's, AJ Green's, and Calvin Johnson's of the NFL. He's roughly the same tier as your Brandon Marshall's, Roddy White's, Dez Bryant's, and Hakeem Nicks' - they can take over a game, but they're inconsistent in their ability to do so (and have at least half as often been guilty of being completely shut down in games).

    Having a STUD receiver is a luxury in this league - it's not a necessity, particularly if your QB has the good sense to spread the ball around plenty (which up until last season's noggin-scratcher Rivers was damn good at doing). It's a position that, yes, if the value is on the board in the draft (i.e. said player is BPA; similar to what the Cowboys did with Dez Bryant or the Chiefs with Jon Baldwin) you draft a guy with that kind of upside. But a stud #1 WR is not such a necessity that you handicap your ability to invest in more important areas on your team for.

    This argument, of course, does assume as Ant did that the money "saved" is reinvested into upgrading other positions on the team. But to put it bluntly, if it were a toss up between getting a more consistent, diversified pass-rush on this team or an OL that across the board wasn't forcing our QB to have to step up in the pocket on virtually 90% of his dropbacks versus having an elite-on-a-good-day WR like Vincent Jackson, I'm taking the former every day and ten times on Sundays.
     
  24. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I don't think the kind of line talent that you're looking for is actually available this year, and that our biggest line upgrade is likely going to have to come in the form of having the fortune to have our 5 starters actually start all season.

    There is obviously some serious talent on D, however I think that we also risk ruining the team by cutting down on Rivers's weapons too much in order to augment the defense. We need a better pass rush, but if Rivers has no one to throw to, then the pass rush won't matter much because teams will be running the ball on us all day, while sitting on a lead. resigning VJ isn't an upgrade to our offense, but you have to be honest with yourself (and this is aimed more at Anteater) with regards to Floyd. Floyd makes amazing catches, and Floyd is very effective with his route running. However, Floyd making it through the entire season without missing time, likely significant time, is extremely unlikely unless the Chargers receive a Christmas (or more likely for Floyd Halloween) miracle in terms of his health. Brown looks like a solid number 2 possession receiver, and I like his potential, but look at what this team actually has in terms of receivers.

    If VJ is gone, we're basically looking at Brown, Gates, Floyd, McMichael, and Goodman as our passcatchers, with a very high likelihood that Gates and Floyd won't be there. Even if you sign Manningham (and he's consistently productive), you're still looking at a high probability of having Manningham, Brown, McMichael, and Goodman as our pass catchers. Can Manningham consistently beat double-coverage? I don't know, because I can't watch a Giant's game without vomiting, however, given that he was the 3rd receiving option on the Giants this year, I'm somewhat wary of the superbowl-glitz rubbing off very quickly on this guy once he's asked to actually be a true number 1. Honestly, this looks David Givens-y to me.
     
  25. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    You could make an argument for going the Patriot route, and getting a big athletic TE to partner with Gates...... having a two-headed monster at tight end can present even more matchup problems for teams that having a true #1 WR.

    If we had a younger version of Gates (or something close), the offense wouldn't be as reliant on the deep ball. Making teams worry about the middle of the field more would open things up for Floyd downfield, whether Jackson is paired with him or not. It may be time for Norv to adapt his offense somewhat, if Jackson prices himself out of the Chargers plans.
     
  26. SuperCharger92

    SuperCharger92 Winners Win

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    Jackson did make some questionable decisions this year though.. he claimed he "didn't see the ball" in the Raiders game.. and in the Chicago game what the hell was he doing almost out of the end zone? he was way too deep.. He also did a lot of good things as well so..

    If he's gonna get paid I want the Chargers to target him a hell lot more, I want 70+ catches!
     
  27. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    I'm surprised I haven't heard one whisper about Jermichael Finley on this board. His blocking sucks, his recieving is fantastic, he's practically a 24yr old Antonio Gates.

    I'm sure its fun to play for the Packers, but his numbers would grow in an offense where he is more featured. I wouldn't be surprised if he cashed in now and left.
     
  28. SuperCharger92

    SuperCharger92 Winners Win

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    he has also dropped 14 catches last year..

    No dobut he'll be in Green Bay..
     
  29. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    Finley also wants WR money, rather than TE money. He is an absolute beast, but I don't think there's a chance we'll pick him up.
     
  30. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    I was thinking more of drafting a guy, than going for a big money free agent. I'd rather use that money to improve the defense.
     

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