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Dear AJ Smith;

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Let’s face it, the NFL has never had it so good. Revenues are high; even in the current economy the Television stations still pay premium prices for the privilege to air NFL games. But many fans are concerned that some owners, players and retired players are getting ready to sacrifice the golden calf and willfully allow the current NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to expire.

    If not ratified by March 2010, the NFL CBA and the salary cap system will cease to exist. However, that does not mean that teams will be able to go out and spend like the Yankees in order to by the next Superbowl. There are restrictions in place that will limit what a team can and cannot do in free agency, and contact negotiations, some of the key points are touched on below:

    Player salaries will only be allowed to increase 30 percent between 2009 and 2010.

    Teams will have three tags with which to keep free agent players, two transition tags, and one franchise tag. Currently there are only two, one franchise and one transition tag.

    Players will be required to accrue six seasons to be an unrestricted free agent. Currently they only have to accrue 4 seasons.

    The biggest change in my opinion comes in the form of the Playoff restrictions:

    The eight teams that make the divisional playoffs will have restrictions placed upon them in unrestricted free agency. They will be able to only sign free agents in accordance to the number of players they lose.

    The four teams that lose in the Divisional rounds will have some additional flexibility. They may sign one player with a salary of $4.925 million or higher, as well as any number of free agents with a first year salary under $3.275 million and an increase of no more than 30 percent in the subsequent years.

    This hopefully will prevent the competitive teams from dominating the open market year in and year out. But we all know how creative the front office personnel of teams can get, Just look at the ’94 49ers… There are obvious rules put in place to keep the NFL competitive even with an uncapped season and future. Rich owners such as those in New York, Washington or Dallas will work hard to find ways to manipulate the rules.

    There will still be minimum salaries for individual players, however there will no longer be a minimum team salary. In 2009 teams were required to spend at least $100 million of the player costs (salaries, benefits, bonuses etc.). That will no longer be in place so some small market team owners could actually spend much less on their roster than under the CBA.

    It is hard for me to picture the uncapped situation going on for too long. The NFL has prospered under the current CBA, and without it they will find it more difficult to maintain the competitive parity that they have been striving for, for so long.

    Why is this important?
    Well the capless season that is represented by the expiration of the current CBA in March of 2010 brings with it new dynamics in the negotiation of player contracts. This is important to the Chargers and their fans because there are thirteen current Charger players entering some level of free agency in 2010, there are another fourteen that will be entering free agency the following year, 2011. This grouping of 27 players represents all but one of our Wide Receivers, all of our currently active Tight Ends, five of the teams Linebackers as well as both backup Quarterbacks.

    The team is indeed heading for a shake up, one that makes it look like the dreaded ‘rebuilding’ tag is about to be applied to the Chargers.

    My question to AJ Smith, General manager of the Chargers is simple; why has there been no apparent movement to lock down star players such as Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson, who currently is 3rd in the league in receiving yards with 722 on the season just half way through the season. Jackson has had four games with 100 receiving yards or more, is it not logical and prudent to lock a star like Jackson up before he can be tempted by free agency?

    Jackson is currently ranked ahead of such receivers as Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald (8th), and New England’s Randy Moss (5th). It would be understandable to hesitate if Jackson were coming off of an injury such as Line Backer Shawne Merriman, who is just coming back into form, and will also be a free agent in 2010. But such is not the case. Also it is a bit distressing to see that not only is Jackson a free agent next season, but our new starting Wide Receiver Malcolm Floyd is as well. That is two of our most active and consistent offensive weapons set to test the waters of free agency in the same year.

    What are you, Mr. Smith, doing to ensure that the team is going to remain competitive, and show the fans that the Chargers organization is focused on maintaining our star players?

    Given the current financial environment, the fact that the Chargers need a new stadium, and are being talked to by other cities, shouldn’t we lock up the players, or attempt to? If nothing else but to show the Charger fans that we are not going to have to suffer through more ‘rebuilding’ seasons? Give the fans a reason to believe that the team will do what it needs to, to keep the core talent of the Chargers together.

    Thirteen players in 2010, and some of them are some of the bigger names and most effective players on the Chargers, how can there be no word on what the Chargers are doing in order to retain their services?

    Here is a listing of the Chargers who are free agents in 2010:
    Charlie Whitehurst, Darren Sproles, Mike Tolbert (ERFA), Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd, Kassim Osgood, Brandon Manumaleuna, Kris Wilson, Travis Johnson, Shawne Merriman, Tim Dobbins, Marcus McNeill, and Jeromy Clary (RFA).

    2011 free agents:
    Billy Volek, Michael Bennett, Legedu Naanee, Antonio Gates, Scott Mruczkowski, Ryon Bingham, Jacques Cesaire, Jamal Williams, Stephen Cooper, Kevin Burnett, Brandon Siler, Antonio Cromartie, Eric Weddle, and Paul Oliver.

    Let’s put it in this perspective; these two lists contain six of our current eleven starters on both offense, and defense. That indicates a shake up for the team to me. Can AJ Smith and the front office work their magic and keep the majority of these players? Does Darren Sproles even want to remain with the Chargers, there has been speculation that he wants to go to a team that is closer to his home, which would put him in Kansas City.

    So in short, I can’t understand for the life of me, given the future that the Chargers are not trying to tie up some of the star players who will soon be free agents. We will have an extra tag a year, but still that will cover only three players. It would go a long way to build fan confidence if the Chargers would at least let us know something was in the works. As it stands now, they are leaving it all up to the imagination of the fans.

    After perusing several fan forums, such as BoltTalk, Smashmouth Mensans, Chargers.com and others, that does not seem to be the smart way to go, leaving things up to the imagination of the fans... There appears to be growing concerns that the Chargers are not trying to retain their players. Given the uncertainty of the capless season, it does not make a lot of sense to me for the Chargers to be adding to the uncertainty and guesswork.

    In short, Mr. Smith, get Jackson, Floyd and Naanee at a minimum signed. Make something happen… Weddle, Merriman and others should be sought after and attempted to sign. Do not let this team slip into the doldrums of ‘rebuilding’. That has been something the Charger’s fans have suffered through too often in the past.
     
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  2. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Chargers free agents by year

    2010
    QB Charlie Whitehurst
    RB Darren Sproles
    FB Mike Tolbert (ERFA)
    WR Vincent Jackson
    WR Malcolm Floyd
    WR/ST Kassim Osgood
    TE Brandon Manumaleuna
    TE Kris Wilson
    NT Travis Johnson
    LB Shawne Merriman
    LB Tim Dobbins
    OT Marcus McNeill
    OT Jeromy Clary (RFA)


    2011
    QB Billy Volek
    RB Michael Bennett
    WR Legedu Naanee
    TE Antonio Gates
    C Scott Mruczkowski
    DE Ryon Bingham
    DE Jacques Cesaire
    NT Jamal Williams
    LB Stephen Cooper
    LB Kevin Burnett
    LB Brandon Siler
    CB Antonio Cromartie
    S Eric Weddle
    S Paul Oliver


    2012
    RB LaDainian Tomlinson
    FB Jacob Hester
    WR Craig Davis
    C Nick Hardwick
    OT Corey Clark
    S Steve Gregory
    P Mike Scifres


    2013
    G Kris Dielman
    G Louis Vasquez
    G Tyronne Green
    NT Vaughn Martin
    LB Shaun Phillips
    LB Jyles Tucker
    CB Quentin Jammer
    CB Antoine Cason
    CB Brandon Hughes
    S Kevin Ellison
    K Nate Kaeding


    2014
    LB Larry English


    2015
    DE Luis Castillo


    2016
    QB Philip Rivers
     
  3. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Do we really need to have this conversation right now?

    Every year good players become free agents.

    Teams loose some and sign some. It's the nature of the business.


    People were jumping off bridges when Junior, Donnie, etc... were let go a couple of years ago


    That being said,


    VJ MUST be re-signed

    :tup:
     
  4. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    If you dont want to have the conversation, dont hit REPLY!
     
  5. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    sorry.

    I won't post any more opinions.


    :icon_shrug:
     
  6. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    If your opinion is to not have the conversation, then don't converse. Pretty simple, isn't it?

    I think that the Chargers need to lock some of our pending FAs now, I am sorry if that is something you don't agree with or want to hear.
     
  7. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, could you send me the rules of conversation as it applies to this board?

    I seemed to have misplaced them.

    and if you had read my post you would have seen that I stated that I agree we should sign VJ.

    :tup:
     
  8. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Tell you what why don't you tell me what the rules of conversation are? I responded to your initial post where your first sentence was, and I quote

    Simple answer is no, if you don't respond there is no conversation is there? Now you want to turn it into some stupid "Conc is trying to bully me and change the rules..." which is BS.

    I responded to your question. If you don't hit reply, there is no conversation. One person can not carry on a conversation alone. Further, without your post this thread would have long since been buried... So what was the purpose of your initial post?

    To me this is not only an interesting topic, but a timely on of importance. You obviously disagree, which is fine, but again what are your rules of conversation? I seem to have misplaced them...

    Edit: I have no problem you posting what you want, do it and have fun. But when you begin a conversation by saying there should be no conversation, it makes me wonder WTF....
     
  9. chargerlipz

    chargerlipz Leading the league in nose hairs.

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    Sorry to interupt the conversation between you two, but I agree. I'm pretty sure AJ is working on stuff as we speak. Otherwise, the guy wouldn't be doing his job.
    VJ is defintely a priority.
    I would like to keep some continuity with our beef so they could improve as a unit. So that would be something else I would think should be high on the list.
     
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Very Senior Member

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    While I completely agree with you conc, what do we really know what Ed McGuire( he is the one who actually does the negotiations ) and company are doing in terms of extensions? They don't normally tell the world how negotiations are going so we may not hear anything until they announce a contract extension. I think they have enough cap space to extend both VJ and SM. Some of the others on your 2010 list will be resigned for small amounts and some will be let go. I think McNeil may be the hardest one. He is doing good, but not terrific this year but he is an LT and will want some good money to resign and I don't know if they will have it to spend.
     
  11. BoltzRule

    BoltzRule Well-Known Member

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    Takes 2 to tango, does VJ want to sign right now? Or does he want to explore free agency? You can't sign someone if they don't want to sign. **** they might be working on something right now. We really have no idea what's going on.

    But I would imagine he would be tagged if something didn't get worked out.

    Shoot who knows he may sign surprisingly, a lot of people were expecting us not to re-sign Jamal, but AJ ended up doing it. I'm sure AJ sees the value of VJ.
     
  12. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    That is something I have asked myself. Does VJ want to sign. I would think yes, but who knows.

    Next year we will have 3 tags, that helps a little...
     

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