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Charger McNeill’s trade a lot of hot air

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]



    By Tim Sullivan, UNION-TRIBUNE COLUMNIST
    Sunday, April 11, 2010


    Mike Florio’s trial balloon took off into cyberspace at exactly 7:55 a.m. (Pacific time) April 2.
    The editor of Profootballtalk.com, in a series of provocative proposals for the Sporting News, encouraged the Indianapolis Colts to fortify Peyton Manning’s blind side by signing Chargers left tackle Marcus McNeill to an offer sheet.
    It was just an idea, and not a bad one. The Colts experienced some leakage on their offensive line in losing Super Bowl XLIV, and can have no higher priority than the protection of their prolific quarterback.
    Though the Chargers had made McNeill the highest possible tender offer for a restricted free agent — requiring a No. 1 and a No. 3 draft choice as compensation — that price isn’t nearly so steep when you’re drafting 31st as it would be for a lesser team.
    Interesting notion. Lousy rumor.
    Seven days, 12 hours and five minutes after he first floated the idea, Florio felt compelled to debunk a story he hadn’t actually written — the suggestion that “somehow morphed into a report” to the effect that the Colts were proceeding as the writer proposed.
    Florio wrote Friday night that he had learned “and confirmed” that the Colts have had no contact with McNeill. This was, of course, inconsistent with the unattributed tale being told on San Diego radio by Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton.
    Whether it was inconsistent with Hamilton himself is subjective. What he told me Friday night seemed more like secondhand scuttlebutt and speculation than verifiable fact — founded on scouting whispers and agent projections — far from the unequivocal stuff he’s been broadcasting on AM 1090.
    “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” Hamilton said.
    Maybe so. But nine out of 10 reliable sources agree that in the final days preceding the April 15 deadline for signing restricted free agents to offer sheets, the state of affairs is stagnation.
    Except for running back Mike Bell, who has moved from New Orleans to Philadelphia at a price that didn’t obligate the Eagles to surrender any draft choices, no NFL player has changed teams through the offer-sheet route since 2008.
    When the Chargers made maximum tenders last month to McNeill, receivers Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson, linebacker Shawne Merriman and running back Darren Sproles, they effectively eliminated the offer-sheet option for those players. Much as an individual team might covet a specific player, few players other than elite quarterbacks are deemed worthy of two high draft choices.
    The right of first refusal, which allows the Chargers to match offer sheets for their restricted free agents, is another deterrent to deal-making.
    That doesn’t mean a trade can’t be made at a lower price — far from it — but it does mean that the Chargers are unlikely to lose any of these five players against their will.
    “The 1 and the 3 is like the kiss of death — it makes it very difficult for someone to come after your players,” Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith said Friday. “If you stick to a 1 and a 3, there’s probably going to be no business.”
    That said, Smith isn’t married to the maximum compensation in all cases. Where Merriman is concerned, in fact, the price may be negotiable enough for William Shatner. The maximum tender is more expensive, but it provides the added benefit of shielding the Chargers from contracts they couldn’t realistically match, the so-called “poison pill” propositions.
    With an assist from agent Tom Condon, the Minnesota Vikings used this ethically dubious maneuver to devastating effect in 2006 in an offer sheet presented to Seattle’s Pro Bowl guard, Steve Hutchinson. The Vikings’ offer stipulated that if Hutchinson wasn’t the highest-paid offensive lineman on his team, his entire seven-year, $49 million deal would become guaranteed. Since the Seahawks were already committed to a bigger deal with tackle Walter Jones, they couldn’t have matched Minnesota’s offer without assuming a much greater obligation than that to which the Vikings exposed themselves. Consequently, Seattle lost Hutchinson without compensation.
    The Seahawks complained bitterly, filed a grievance, then retaliated with a comparably cutthroat offer to Vikings receiver Nate Burleson. The gloves were off. Attentive NFL executives realized that their surest safeguard from poison pills was to make artificially high tender offers that would trigger daunting draft-choice compensation.
    Though this makes for some payroll peculiarities — Sproles’ $7.283 million tender exceeds the combined 2010 salaries of the NFL’s two leading running backs, Chris Johnson and Steven Jackson — it gives teams greater control of their rosters.
    Until the poison-pill loophole can be closed through collective bargaining, NFL teams will remain wary and assign tenders from a defensive stance. (Suspicion that an unofficial “gentlemen’s agreement” has curbed poison-pill contracts is understandably unconfirmed, for acknowledging it would be an admission of collusion.) Ostensibly, then, the poison pill is still a practical option. Were the Colts interested in making an unmatchable offer to McNeill, for example, they could offer him a deal that would become fully guaranteed if he played more than four games in the state of California.
    But that still leaves the issue of trading two high draft choices for a tackle with a history of back problems, a tackle already contemplating a $3.168 million tender offer.
    “I think it makes good rumor fodder, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense,” said draft analyst Jerry Jones, author of The Drugstore List. “If Indianapolis were holding some extra picks or something, it might make some sense …
    “The only validity in something like that is looking at how any team with a quarterback like (Manning) wants to make damn sure he’s protected.”
    The same might be said of a team with a quarterback like Philip Rivers.
     
  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    No kidding?:yawn:

    I think we're all shocked that Quacksaw was lieing.:icon_tease:
     
  3. Boltzlover

    Boltzlover BoltTalker

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    With Quacksaw if there is smoke, that means he is probably smoking some weed. :abq1::abq2:
     
  4. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Let us clear Florio here. It was not him that started this. F Sullivan for staring this. This a@ssclown Sullivan would not even mention this if Florio was not credible. Lets see Sullivan have the balls to go after Hacksaw.
     
  5. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    word... :tup:
     
  6. Rainman

    Rainman BoltTalker

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    You mean...crack! :lol:

    Or perhaps huffing paint! :icon_shrug:
     
  7. Rainman

    Rainman BoltTalker

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    It's not a lie if it comes off his "High Speed Sports Wire".

    Then, it's "MopTop Journalism". :lol:
     

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