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Inside Slant - 3/11/07

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Mar 11, 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>

    <img src="http://www.nctimes.com/content/articles/2005/11/21/front/photo_top.jpg" title="Kris Dielman celebrates a Chargers Tounchdown - Photo from NCtimes.com" alt="Kris Dielman celebrates a Chargers Tounchdown - Photo from NCtimes.com" height="195" width="304" />
    <p class="inside-copy"> The expensive steak dinner the Seahawks splurged on went down fine. But left guard Kris Dielman had trouble digesting the notion of bolting the Chargers for Seattle.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> It was during his meal with some Seahawks heavyweights that he got word a deal had been struck. Dielman would leave San Diego for Seattle and become a very rich man.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> But instead of giving Seattle his John Hancock, he signed up for a flight with Alaska Airlines - back to San Diego.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> In a stunning development which left the Chargers ecstatic, Dielman left some $10 million on the table to return to the Chargers.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "I'm a Charger; I love being a Charger," Dielman said. "Just being in Seattle felt weird. It didn't feel right."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> And there's nothing wrong with a six-year, $39 million deal the Chargers gave him to stay put. While it doesn't quite equal the riches being offered by the Seahawks, Dielman will receive a guaranteed $17 million over the next two years.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Not bad for a converted defensive lineman who was once cut by the Chargers.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Dielman's decision to remain a Charger - at a discounted price - didn't surprise general manager A. J. Smith.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "This is the kind of kid he is," Smith said. "This is his team, and it was important for him to be a Charger. Some players will go anywhere for the highest dollars. Other people just want to be comfortable and get a contract in line with what they're worth.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "We gave it our best shot. I'm just glad the gap wasn't so large that it couldn't get done."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> The Chargers got it done, signing their top priority in an offseason which will be quiet for the AFC West champions. Their main focus was on Dielman, and with him back in the fold, the mission to go deep in next year's playoffs becomes clearer.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Just like Dielman's motivation to remain in San Diego. He repeatedly told his agent that San Diego was his first choice.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Dielman proved it by leaving $10 million - if not a $50 steak - on the table in Seattle.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-In a report by Forbes magazine on professional sports' general managers, the Chargers' A.J. Smith was ranked No. 1 among NFL counterparts and No. 4 overall. Said Forbes, of the work Smith has done since taking over in 2003: "Draft day has been kind to A.J. Smith. Successful prospects, timely trades and one of the youngest offensive units in football have enabled the Chargers to double their winning percentage, while entirely containing salary expenses under Smith - though having league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson in the backfield hasn't hurt."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Shaun McDonald was the first free agent to visit with the Chargers. McDonald has spent the last four seasons with the Rams, and has been stuck behind Isaac Bruce and Tory Holt. In 2005, he set career highs in receptions (46) and receiving yards (523), including a nine-catch, 121-yard showing against the Giants.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-With G Kris Dielman being signed through 2012, all five starting linemen are Chargers property through at least the 2008 season. C Nick Hardwick and RT Shane Olivea are good through 2011, LT Marcus McNeill is signed through 2009 and RG Mike Goff, through 2008.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The Chargers now have 26 players signed to contracts that run through at least the 2009 season. Dielman joins cornerback Quentin Jammer, kicker Nate Kaeding and linebacker Shaun Phillips as players signed through 2012.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-TE T.J. Cottrell is among the Chargers competing in NFL Europe. Cottrell, who played at Buffalo State, is the son of new Chargers defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-QB Brett Elliott, from tiny Linfield College in Oregon, showed the Chargers enough last summer for them to sign him and send him to NFL Europe. Elliott was cut during last year's Chargers training camp.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "When I walked out of the tunnel on their side, it just didn't feel right at all. I couldn't see myself doing that." - Free-agent G Kris Dielman, after taking a tour of Seattle's Qwest Field and before deciding to stay with the Chargers.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></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 Donnie Edwards was the team's leading tackler in each of the past five seasons, but he won't be invited back.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Randall Godfrey could return, if he doesn't retire.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Az-Zahir Hakim could come back and supply depth to a questionable wide receiving corps.</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">-LB Carlos Polk is a solid special teamer and will likely return.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-TE Ryan Krause (not tendered as RFA).</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</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Marques Harris; the team likes his pass-rushing ability - he had three sacks last season.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS RE-SIGNED</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">-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">-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 Steve Foley (released).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Keenan McCardell (released).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-TE Aaron Shea (released).</p>
     

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