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Inside Slant - 3/4/07

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    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://www.nctimes.com/content/articles/2006/09/25/sports/professional/chargers/92406185802.jpg" title="Kris Dielman/Photo from the North County Times" alt="Kris Dielman/Photo from the North County Times" align="right" height="289" width="190" /> The Chargers accomplished one of their main offseason goals when left guard Kris Dielman agreed to terms on a new six-year, $39 million contract with San Diego.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> The deal reportedly includes $17 million in guaranteed money.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Dielman was coveted by Seattle, among others, and visited the Seahawks on the first day of free agency. But he had previously said he'd like to return to the Chargers to block for running back LaDainian Tomlinson.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "This is huge for us," Chargers President Dean Spanos said. "Kris brings so much to our team. The character and attitude of your football team starts with the offensive line. Kris brings an edge and intensity to that group that is vital. We're so happy to keep him in the fold."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> The re-signing came somewhat as a surprise since it looked like Dielman would be heading elsewhere after not getting a new contract before the start of free agency. Chargers general manager A.J. Smith openly said he wanted to see what the market would bear for Dielman, and apparently the price ended up being something San Diego was willing to swallow.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "I'm extremely excited to have Kris back," Smith said. "This is huge for our team because it enables us to keep our offensive line in tact for years to come. Kris is one of the best in the business at his position. He sets the tone with his consistent physical play."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Smith will also be looking for a wide receiver after releasing veteran Keenan McCardell. The 37-year-old McCardell started last season as the team's top wide out, but he wasn't much of a factor in the season's second-half, being relegated to the No. 3 spot.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Another classy pro has also played his last game as a Charger.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Inside linebacker Donnie Edwards, the team's leading tackler in each of the past five seasons, won't be invited back. Edwards got on Smith's enemies list last offseason when asking for a contract extension. Smith balked, and at one point would no longer talk about Edwards, one of the team's most popular players.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-General manager A. J. Smith wasted little time getting rid of the Chargers' bad apples. Upset with their off-the-field conduct, Smith released LB Steve Foley, S Terrence Kiel and TE Ryan Krause. All three had incidents where they were arrested last year. "The way we evaluate players, I think I've said consistently, you're a Charger one year at a time," Smith said. "You're judged off the field, on the field, production and work ethic. That's really how it's assessed in total for all players."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> In Kiel's situation, the Chargers elected not to buy back the final two years of his contract, making him an unrestricted free agent.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-RB Michael Turner was tendered with a $2.35 million offer, which brings first- and third-round picks as compensation. Turner is a sensational backup to LaDainian Tomlinson, and the Chargers proved just how much they think about this restricted free agent with their tender offer. "I'm on record for this: Michael Turner is an exceptional running back," Smith said. "He's a starting running back. I think he's going to have a bright future (as a starter) if he ever next year moves on or this year moves on.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Smith had some anxious moments at the Pro Bowl when Tomlinson decided to participate in a charity basketball game. "That was loads of fun for me to watch," Smith said, tongue in cheek. "I was worrying about him. I wanted him to throw up a couple of 3s and go to the bench and sit down, but LT had to put on a show and drive the lane a couple of times. We survived that."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Shawne Merriman is facing a rehab time of some two-three months from a shoulder surgery he had after the Pro Bowl.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-ILB Randall Godfrey had contemplated retirement before the '06 season. Now he says he wants to play a couple more years. It remains to be seen if that's with the Chargers; they have youth and depth at Godfrey's position.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "Obviously when you look at our receiving corps, we're going to look hard to find some football players without a doubt." - GM A.J. Smith on what the Chargers will be seeking in free agency and the draft.</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">-C Cory Withrow returns at the right price; a backup to Pro Bowler Nick Hardwick.</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">-WR Malcom Floyd will be back as he proved his worth as a dynamite red-zone target with three touchdown catches.</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">-DE Derreck Robinson will likely return, but needs to prove he can stay healthy.</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; 6 yrs, $39 million.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Shaun Phillips: Potential RFA; 6 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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