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Inside Slant - 04/07/07

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/home.htm" target="_blank">USA Today</a>
    <p class="inside-copy"><img src="http://images.fannation.com/images/ap/200610082145783578559-p2.jpg" title="Michael Turner" alt="Michael Turner" align="right" height="241" width="215" /> Is it true that where there's smoke there's fire regarding The Burner?</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Running back Michael "The Burner" Turner continues to draw interest around the league. The stellar backup to league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson is a hot option for other teams looking for an every down back.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Turner, who averaged 6.0 yards per carry last year, could fit that bill for a team. And among those kicking his tires are the Titans and Bills.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> For Turner to scram, a team would have to relinquish a first and third-round pick for the restricted free agent tendered at $2.35 million. Turner is good, but it's unlikely two such high picks would be surrendered for him.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> There's a better chance a team will work a deal with the Chargers, but only after getting Turner to agree to a long-term pact.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> It's believed general manager A. J. Smith is holding out for a first-round pick for Turner. He values Turner that much, as he's Smith's insurance policy in case Tomlinson gets hurt.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Smith doesn't take depth at such a critical position lightly, meaning he won't give in and let Turner go unless his needs are met.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> That said, he will listen to all offers.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "For right now, it's a one and a three," said Smith, "but I'm flexible."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> If a team does lure Smith into a trade, look for it to happen well before the draft later this month. Smith isn't one to make such a dramatic move on draft day. When the Chargers are on the clock, he doesn't like to be sideswiped by some complicated deal that comes out of nowhere.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Smith's thinking is if someone wants to deal, let's deal now.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Chargers GM A. J. Smith is playing his cards - as always - close to the vest in regard to the possibility of trading backup RB Michael Turner. He has confirmed Turner has spoken with the Titans and Bills. "Beyond that, I don't have much to say," he said.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The team will open its preseason against the Seahawks on Aug. 12 in a nationally televised game at Qualcomm Stadium. Next up will be a road trip to St. Louis on Aug. 18. The exact dates of the final two summer tune-ups have yet to be determined: the Chargers go to Arizona (Aug. 23-27) and welcome the 49ers (Aug. 31-Sept. 2).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-ILB Matt Wilhelm is on a roll. He signed a five-year deal that can be worth $15 million in December. The end of the season saw him move into the starter's role on the depth chart with Donnie Edwards' departure. Now he's getting married this off-season.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-A familiar face visited the off-season workouts recently, one of the team's top tight ends on some of its top teams. Eric Sievers was always the guy playing opposite Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, so he was often overshadowed.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-We know RB LaDainian Tomlinson can move the pile. But how about a congregation at a church service? Tomlinson was to be the special guest speaker at The Rock Church's Easter service. The church is headed by Pastor Miles McPherson, a safety for the Chargers from 1982-85. It's no small-time service, as it is being held at San Diego State's Cox Arena.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-K John Carney, one of the most popular and productive players in Chargers history, asked the Saints for his release to seek work elsewhere. That won't be, though, in San Diego. It has Pro Bowl K Nate Kaeding.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "I haven't coached on a team where they didn't expect you to win. I understand the quality of the football team. If we don't go out and have great success, everybody is going to be looking at me, but I don't think about not having success." - New coach Norv Turner, on taking over a team that went an NFL-best 14-2 last season in the regular season.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> TEAM NEEDS</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> 1. Safety: The Chargers have been seeking a decent safety since general manager A.J. Smith took over. He burned a second-round pick that year on Terrence Kiel, but Kiel was only average on the field and a liability off it with numerous incidents with police. This need could be filled with the team's first selection.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> 2. Inside linebacker: This spot will have a new look, with Donnie Edwards being allowed to leave and sign with the Chiefs, and the team still weighing its options with 11-year pro Randall Godfrey. Godfrey had contemplated retirement, but has decided he wants to come back for at least one more year. The team has youngsters Matt Wilhelm and Stephen Cooper waiting in the wings, but that doesn't mean the team won't seek other ways to upgrade.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> 3. Wide receiver: The Chargers No. 1 wide out? Good question. It's probably Vincent Jackson by default, as he took over that role from Keenan McCardell the last half of the 2006 season. Jackson has the potential, but has to become more consistent to be the top option. Eric Parker is a solid No. 2 guy, but doesn't really fit the role as the top receiver. If the Chargers don't go safety with their first-round pick, they could land a pass-catcher.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">TRANSITION PLAYER: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Randall Godfrey could return, if he doesn't retire.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-OT Leander Jordan's time has likely come and gone.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-S Terrence Kiel became a free agent when team declined to buy back voidable '07 and '08 contract years.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-RB Michael Turner (tendered at $2.35M with 1st- and 3rd-round picks as compensation) will be back as an insurance policy for LaDainian Tomlinson. However, if the right deal appeared, he could be moved in a trade.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS RE-SIGNED</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-DT Ryon Bingham: ERFA; teams unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Greg Camarillo: ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-OG Kris Dielman: UFA; $39M/6 yrs, $18M guaranteed.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Malcom Floyd: ERFA; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Marques Harris: ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-OT Cory Lekkerkerker: ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Shaun Phillips: Potential RFA; 6 yrs, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Carlos Polk: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-DE Derreck Robinson: ERFA; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-C Cory Withrow: UFA: 3 yrs, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS ACQUIRED: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS LOST</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Donnie Edwards: UFA Chiefs; $13.5M/3 yrs, $7.5M SB.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Steve Foley (released).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Az-Zahir Hakim: UFA Dolphins; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-TE Ryan Krause: Not tendered as RFA/Browns; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Keenan McCardell (released).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-TE Aaron Shea (released).</p>
     

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