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Chargers Team Report - 06/22/10

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a class="vt-p" href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/notes.htm">USA Today</a>

    <div class="alignright"><a class="vt-p" href="http://www.sportsnet.ca/football/nfl/2010/06/21/ellison_kevin_big_381.jpg"><img class=" " title="Kevin Ellison" src="http://www.sportsnet.ca/football/nfl/2010/06/21/ellison_kevin_big_381.jpg" alt="" width="267" height="145" /></a></div>

    The Chargers made a pair of significant moves to their defense, releasing two players who finished 2009 as starters.

    Kevin Ellison's release didn't come as a major surprise after he was told to stay away from the offseason program following an arrest on drug possession charges in May. He was apprehended after some 100 Vicodin pills were found in his car after being pulled over for a traffic violation in Redondo Beach, Calif.

    He had returned to practice the past two weeks, but his release still didn't come as a major surprise.

    "After the minicamp and our offseason program we felt we were going to go another direction at this time," General Manager A.J. Smith told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "Letting Kevin go now gives him an excellent chance to get with a team before training camp gets underway."

    A sixth-round pick last year, Ellison started nine games as a rookie after taking over for ineffective Clinton Hart. But the Chargers also drafted Darrell Stuckey in the fourth round out of Kansas and he has already impressed coach Norv Turner, who last month said: "He is a sure tackler and covers a lot of ground so if we can get him to know what he needs to do now, when we get into training camp he will be able to use his skills."

    Stuckey isn't a speed-burner, but he did lead the Jayhawks with 93 tackles and typically takes good angles to the ball. He'll likely compete with Steve Gregory for the starting job in training camp.

    Also let go was defensive tackle Ian Scott, who started seven games for the Chargers last season when Jamal Williams, Ryon Bingham and Ogemdi Nwagbuo all went down with injuries.

    While not a long-term answer at the position, Scott had been expected to vie for significant playing time. The team did draft North Carolina's Cam Thomas in the fifth round to provide much needed depth.

    -With it looking clear two Pro Bowl restricted free agents won't be showing up any time soon, general manager A.J. Smith didn't hesitate to find help. He brought in two potential replacements just in case left tackle Marcus McNeill and wide receiver Vincent Jackson make good on their option of sitting out until the season's final six weeks.

    "We were able to move quickly to fill a need at left tackle because our previous starter doesn't plan on being here for a while," Smith said. "In terms of a receiver, we're always looking at players at every position. We're always looking to upgrade the current roster."

    But what did the Chargers actually get in left tackle Tra Thomas and wide receiver Josh Reed.

    Thomas, who started just three games for the Jaguars last year, is on the downside of his career. In fact the 35-year-old was contemplating retirement before answering the Chargers' SOS when McNeill showed his cards to read "holdout."

    "I happy to be in a spot where success is expected," said Thomas, a three-time Pro Bowler back in his salad days with the Eagles. "At this stage of my career, I'd rather be here than with an organization trying to rebuild."

    Coach Norv Turner said Thomas is such a pro that he didn't need to attend all the offseason workouts. But, because he is such a pro, he didn't want to miss a session.

    "That's a good sign," Turner said. "I didn't think he needed to be here. We can get him ready when we go to camp.

    "But he's a very conscientious guy. The thing about really good veteran players, guys who have been there, they don't like not knowing a call. They don't like not knowing what to do.

    The questions remains if the Chargers' brass knew what it was doing when giving McNeill and Jackson the stiff-arm on long-term deals. That can be debated, but the team struck fast in trying to re-load and move on.

    In Reed, the Chargers acquired someone who has skill sets that don't exactly match what Jackson brings to the offense.

    While Jackson shines with his acrobatic catches down field, Reed is more of a possession guy used on the underneath routes and for key third-down plays.

    The player who should feel most threatened with Reed coming aboard is Buster Davis, the team's former first-round pick.

    Reed, 30, had 27 catches for 291 yards and a touchdown for the Buffalo Bills in 2009. The 5-foot-10, 210-pounder had spent his eight-year NFL career with the Bills, who decided not to retain him after Reed endured the second-least productive season of his career in 2009.

    But the Chargers like what they see in Reed.

    "That is exciting to me," coach Norv Turner said. "No. 1, for him to be available, and No. 2, for him to want to be here with us; we certainly wanted him."

    Reed, who started four games last year, has 311 receptions for 3,575 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career.

    If Jackson and/or McNeill hold out beyond August 10, which is 30 days before the start of the 2010 regular season, they risk not being credited for an accrued season of service. That means they would be no closer to free agency or the payday that comes with it, pending the language in a yet-to-be written - or negotiated - collective bargaining agreement between players and owners.


    -Coach Norv Turner said the Chargers' youth has will serve the team well going forward. "We've got good, young players working, and every opportunity they have like that, they get better," Turner said. "We expose them to an awful lot."

    -RB Marcus Mason is trying to land a roster spot at backup after coming over this offseason from the Redskins. One player he is certain will make the team is Ryan Mathews, the team's top pick out of Fresno State.

    "He's fast. He has great vision. He has great potential also," Mason said. "It's different when you're out here with no pads on because you don't get the correct reads. I guess we'll see more in training camp."

    -Rookie ILB Donald Butler has finally joined the workouts after his University of Washington class graduated.

    "My guys have been down here working hard and it's been killing me that I haven't been able to work with them," Butler said. "Really, it just feels good to finally be out here."

    -Just because two-time Pro Bowler Marcus McNeill is not on the Chargers' practice field that doesn't mean he's away from football. He'll host an offensive and defensive line football academy June 30 to July 2 in Atlanta.

    -Turner didn't try to hide his optimism after the team's final minicamp workout.

    "We've had great offseasons around here the last three years and obviously long before I got here, but this by far is the best I've been around," Turner said. "I would believe that this group has a chance to be the best team I've coached as a head coach."

    -TE Antonio Gates is still being bothered by a sore foot.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I learned not to spend a lot of times to think about those things. It is something that is going to take place and everyone has a decision to make. But we would just like to get them here as soon as they can." - Coach Norv Turner, when asked about the absence of LT Marcus McNeill and WR Vincent Jackson.


    The Chargers are hoping they have the players - even as a committee replacement - to take the place of Marcus McNeill and Vincent Jackson. General manager A.J. Smith moved to fill those vacancies by signing two free agents: left tackle Tra Thomas and wide receiver Josh Reed.

    -DT Ian Scott was released by the Chargers. Scott played the final 13 games for the Chargers, which included eight starts at nose tackle, in 2009 and signed a one-year deal in March to return to the team.



    FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

    -*OLB Marques Harris (not tendered as RFA).

    -C Dennis Norman (not tendered as UFA.

    -*LB Dontarrious Thomas (not tendered as RFA).

    RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (*indicates restricted because of uncapped year)

    -*WR Vincent Jackson (tendered at $3.268M with first- and third-round picks as compensation).

    -*LT Marcus McNeill (tendered at $3.168M with first- and third-round picks as compensation).



    -QB Jonathan Crompton (5/168): 4 yrs, terms unknown.


    -OLB Antwan Applewhite: ERFA; $470,000/1 yr.

    -DT Alfonso Boone: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

    -OT Jeromey Clary: RFA; (tendered at $1.684M with second-round pick as compensation); $1.684M/1 yr.

    -*WR Malcom Floyd: RFA; (tendered at $3.168M with first- and third-round picks as compensation); $3.168M/1 yr.

    -*DT Antonio Garay: Not tendered as RFA; terms unknown.

    -*DE Travis Johnson: RFA; (tendered at $1.226M with first-round pick as compensation); $1.226M/1 yr.

    -*OLB Shawne Merriman: RFA (tendered at $3.168M with first- and third-round picks as compensation): $3.168M/1 yr.

    -DT Ian Scott: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

    -*RB Darren Sproles: RFA; (tendered at $7.283M with first- and third-round picks as compensation); $7.283M/1 yr.

    -FB Mike Tolbert: ERFA; $470,000/1 yr.

    -TE Kris Wilson: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.


    -RB Marcus Mason (waivers Redskins).

    -TE Randy McMichael: Not tendered as UFA by Rams; 1 yr, terms unknown.

    -WR Josh Reed: Not tendered as UFA by Bills; terms unknown.

    -CB Donald Strickland: FA Jets; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

    -OT Tra Thomas: FA Jaguars; 1 yr, terms unknown.

    -CB Nate Vasher: FA Bears; $4.5M/2 yrs.


    -RB Michael Bennett (released).

    -WR Demetrius Byrd (released/non-football injury).

    -CB Antonio Cromartie (traded Jets).

    -*ILB Tim Dobbins (traded Dolphins), had been re-signed as RFA; (tendered at $1.176M with fifth-round pick as compensation); $1.176M/1 yr.

    -S Kevin Ellison: Released.

    -*C Eric Ghiaciuc: Not tendered as RFA/Browns; terms unknown.

    -TE Brandon Manumaleuna: UFA Bears; $15M/5 yrs, $$2M SB/$3M RB.

    -WR Kassim Osgood: UFA Jaguars; $6.675M/3 yrs, $2.975M guaranteed.

    -OT Jon Runyan: UFA (retired).

    -DT Ian Scott: Released.

    -RB LaDainian Tomlinson (released).

    -*QB Charlie Whitehurst: RFA; (tendered at $1.176M with third-round pick as compensation); re-signed, traded to Seahawks.

    -NT Jamal Williams (released).

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