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Inside Slant - 4/21/07

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    <p class="inside-copy">Source: <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/home.htm" target="_blank">USA Today</a></p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><img src="http://www.sportznutz.com/nfl/draft/draft.jpg" title="NFL Logo" alt="NFL Logo" align="left" height="171" width="169" />DRAFT STRATEGY - The Chargers are at the draft's end, with their first of eight picks coming at No. 30 overall.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Luckily for the Chargers, they aren't running around trying to plug countless holes through the draft. The roster, which has basically won two of the past three AFC West titles, is pretty set among the starters, so most of next weekend's work will be about building depth.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> That said, Chargers general manager A. J. Smith always seems to have a trick or two up his sleeve, and this April could follow suit.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">It remains to be seen if Smith can wrestle a first-day draft pick away from a team for the services of backup running back Michael Turner. Smith is seeking a first- and a third-round pick, although he has said on numerous occasions in his flexible in his demands.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> What he means is that he would break up that bounty over two drafts, so no to scare off teams by derailed nearly their first-day draft approach.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> If Smith, who has talked with six teams regarding Turner - he's mentioned the Titans and Bills, though it seems the Bills' interest has waned - can get another first-round pick, he might be able to package it with his at No. 30 to go up in the draft.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> If he pulls that off, he could grab an elite safety like LaRon Landry of LSU - although he figures to be gone quickly.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> More likely, Smith might zero in on Florida's Reggie Nelson, if he can get the mid-level of the first round.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Let's speculate that Smith stays put, which might these two safeties in his sights: Miami's Brandon Meriweather and Texas' Michael Griffin.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Meriweather has the skills that rival Landry, but he also comes with some red flags. He was involved in a shooting at an off-campus residence. Plus, he was among those stomping Florida International players doing that ugly brawl last year.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Smith has made it clear he was embarrassed by the string of arrests and incidents by Chargers players last year. That could hurt Meriweather in Smith's eyes.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> The Chargers could wrap their arms around another need: wide receiver. But Smith has never drafted a wide receiver in the first round, and some doubt that will change.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson will be long gone when the Chargers are on the clock, but there are some other potential prospects. Ohio State's Ted Ginn, Jr., Tennessee's Robert Meachem and Louisiana State's Dwayne Bowe might be available for the Chargers - and it wouldn't take much upward movement.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Two decent wide outs expected to slip to the second round are Southern Cal's Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith and South Carolina's Sidney Rice.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> The Chargers also will eye the inside linebacker position, more so for depth than starters. The same is true for the offensive line.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> The key is going to be how the Michael Turner scenario plays out - and it might not be determined until draft day. It's a complicated situation, with the Chargers finding a willing trading partner and that partner being able to sign Turner, a restricted free agent tendered with a first- and third-round pick, to a long term deal.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> But the once woeful Chargers have come a long way thanks to the keen drafts by Smith. That's why it's foolish to sell him short next weekend, as he often does his best work when it comes to choosing the best college prospects.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-There remains some mystery over whether LaDainian Tomlinson was asked to be the cover player for the John Madden '08 video game. The Titans' Vince Young graces the cover instead of Tomlinson, the NFL's MVP. A spokesman for EA Sports, which sells the game, said Young was the choice all along. Tomlinson's business manager said Tomlinson turned down EA Sports' request to be on the cover.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-If RB Michael Turner is traded, it seems less likely the restricted free agent will land in Buffalo. Bills GM Marv Levy said there were too many complexities to the deal and that he would be surprised if Turner became a Bill. It's believe Chargers GM A.J. Smith is seeking at least one, first-day draft pick in order to part with Tomlinson's valuable backup.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Sid "Doc" Brooks, the team's former equipment manager, died at age 72 last week in Arizona. It's doubtful any person associated with the Chargers had more friends throughout the NFL than Brooks. "How many people in this world can say that every time they went to work that the first person they saw would put a smile on their face?" Chargers great Dan Fouts asked. "And that was what Sid did every day. Every day."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Chargers DE Luis Castillo took in some class time at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. The NFLPA and NFL have partnered with the Harvard Business School, the Kellogg School of Management, the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to hook up more than 100 current and former players during the off-season with education that could prove handy when their careers are over. Castillo is a Northwestern graduate.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "We're very competitive. He's what drives me to be better. I want to be in the spotlight just as much as he does. Whatever he does, I want to do better. That's how we make each other better. We're very close off the field too. It's competition, but in a positive way." - OLB Shaun Phillips, on competing with teammate and Pro Bowl OLB Shawne Merriman.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></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) 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>
    <p class="inside-copy">&nbsp;</p>

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