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LT can resolve his predicament by making a cut – in his salary

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by CoronaDoug, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    LT can resolve his predicament by making a cut – in his salary

    Saturday, January 24, 2009
    LaDainian Tomlinson's latest move is a misdirection play. In announcing that he has “absolutely no control” should the Chargers decide to trade him, LT has omitted an important detail:

    Everything is negotiable.

    If Tomlinson is disinclined to take a hike, he could volunteer to take a pay cut. He could acknowledge that an NFL running back who will turn 30 as a recurring injury risk no longer merits the highest base salary at his position. He could declare and then demonstrate that dollars are a secondary consideration at this stage of his Canton-bound career.

    He could seize the initiative from A.J. Smith, back the Bolts into a more awkward position than they already occupy, and free up funds to help fill the team's numerous needs. He could execute a tactical retreat and emerge as a triumphant symbol of selflessness.

    He could gain some control by sacrificing some salary.

    The most pressing decision confronting Chargers management is partly a personnel evaluation, partly a political problem, but fundamentally a financial issue.

    Despite the hysteria that is an inevitable byproduct of hard decisions involving popular players and edgy executives, the core issue here is not Smith's arrogance or his artlessness but the accuracy of his cold calculation. Simply stated, the Chargers are having a hard time justifying the $6.725 million salary Tomlinson is due in 2009, much less the $8.8 million salary cap created by his pro-rated bonus.

    Those who would paint this as a morality play, who read Smith's every utterance as a declaration of war, are either missing the point or misreading the market. No one has a higher opinion of LaDainian Tomlinson than I do, and the tone of some of Smith's statements are a legitimate (if tangential) issue, but I'd be hard-pressed to pay LT $6.725 million coming off an injury at this point in his career in this economy.

    The Chargers' choices are to honor the terms of Tomlinson's nonbinding contract (unlikely), trade him (less likely), renegotiate (difficult) or release him (distasteful). This effectively reduces LT's most viable alternatives to swallowing a piece of his pride or having it crammed down his throat wholesale.

    Though Smith's relationship with agent Tom Condon could charitably be described as “strained,” both sides should have an incentive to locate the middle ground. Tomlinson is enormously popular and still productive, but he's neither the player nor the commodity he was in 2006. The framework for a revised deal might be found in Ahman Green's negotiations with the Houston Texans last summer. Green conceded $2 million in base salary and a $500,000 bonus for the chance to make up to $3 million in bonuses for being listed as “active” over the last 15 games of the season.

    Green wound up losing money on the deal – he played in only eight games for the Texans and finished the season on injured reserve – but his flexibility encouraged the Texans to keep him around at the relatively advanced age of 31.

    Pro football is no more forgiving of 30-something running backs than is Hollywood of past-their-prime actresses. It's a cutthroat business with no margin for sentiment and few allowances for services rendered. Much as the Chargers might appreciate Tomlinson's sterling contributions and his stainless character, only three of the 13 running backs with more rushing yards than LT spent their entire career with a single team.

    Since you asked, those three were Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and Jim Brown.

    Rarer still is the running back who retains his value into the sixth year of an eight-year contract.

    “Most of the time in the NFL, players enter into long-term contracts so teams can take advantage of the maximum number of years to pro-rate the signing bonus (for salary-cap purposes),” said Mark Levin, the director of salary cap and agent administration for the National Football League Players Association. “Very, very few players will complete an entire six or seven-year contract. Either the player outperforms the contract or the contract outperforms the player.”

    Tomlinson fell into the latter category last fall. Battling injuries of his own, the injuries and inconsistencies of his blockers and a strategic shift toward a more pass-oriented offense, LT ran for a career-low 1,110 yards in 2008. For the second straight season, he was too hurt to be of much help during the playoffs, a trend that portends more trouble as a running back ages.

    Thus the questions confronting the Chargers are many and thorny, including but not limited to: 1) How much more mileage can they expect from Tomlinson?; 2) At what price is he worth an escalating risk of injury?; 3) How can they structure a deal that makes sense to both sides?; 4) How do they balance the continuity of keeping their most marketable player against their budgetary and salary-cap concerns?; 5) Should Tomlinson leave, what are the replacement costs of a front-line running back?

    None of these questions can be easily answered, not even for a general manager as cocksure as Smith. That the Chargers continue to assess their options (and, presumably, public sentiment), and that club President Dean Spanos has taken pains to personally update Tomlinson on developments, suggest a greater sensitivity than the team showed in its clumsy exit strategy with Junior Seau.

    That Smith continues to say things that can be construed as critical or even “mocking” of Tomlinson may be counterproductive, but LT isn't blameless here, either. Though Tomlinson is clearly sensitive to the criticism he received after the 2008 playoff loss to New England, allowing the extent of his groin injury to leak before the playoff game against Indianapolis was a self-indulgent blunder. Claiming he has “absolutely no control” of his future is, at best, disingenuous.

    Yet all of this friction would fade quickly if LT can find the daylight in front of him. If his desire is to stay, let him show his sincerity by taking one for the team. Let him take control of the situation while there's still time.

    So long as the Chargers are in compliance with the salary cap as of Feb. 27, they have no need for a hasty decision. So long as ego doesn't interfere, there's a way to make this work.
    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/jan/24/chargers-sullivan-tomlinson-salary-cut/?chargers

    If you are going to focus on the organization or AJ then you also need to focus on LT. We will see if LT truly wants to be a Charger as he says.
     
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  2. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    I wish more fans understood this article instead of all the bullshiit I read. Finally, someone is starting to think. :icon_toast:

    Good read.
     
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  3. powayslugger

    powayslugger Feckless Slappy

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    I agree it's time for LT to put his money where his mouth is... literally.
     
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  4. ESCOBAR 92113

    ESCOBAR 92113 BoltTalker

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    ive been saying this, in fact i think i posted the ? somewhere on this board..What if AJ asks LT to take a paycut and he doesnt want too?
    Its obvious that the only way Tomlinson stays is by re doing his contract, we shall see how much Lt really wants to stay
     
  5. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    LT's agent is playing some Bolt fan's like a drum. Make AJ out to be the villain and LT wins the brass ring. Reading some of the posters on this MB, I can see it worked like a charm. Like I said before, it's time for LT to put up or get the hell out. He (LT) holds the key to this lock AJ doesn't.
     
  6. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    PAY CUT COMING FOR TOMLINSON?
    Posted by Sheil Kapadia on January 25, 2009, 2:43 p.m.

    The Chargers will likely ask LaDainian Tomlinson to take a pay cut, according to Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe.

    Tomlinson is due $6.275 million in 2009, $8 million in 2010 and $9.275 million in 2011.

    Tim Sullivan of The San Diego Union Tribune says Tomlinson’s best move could be to volunteer to take a pay cut.

    “He could seize the initiative from A.J. Smith, back the Bolts into a more awkward position than they already occupy, and free up funds to help fill the team’s numerous needs,” Sullivan writes. “He could execute a tactical retreat and emerge as a triumphant symbol of selflessness.”

    Tomlinson addressed his status with the following message on his web site last week:

    “I have been getting a lot of messages on my site regarding me leaving San Diego. I feel that I need to make it very clear that I have no intentions of leaving San Diego. San Diego is where my career started and where I’d like it to end. I have nothing but love and the upmost [sic] respect for this team, the players, and the Spanos Family. Me being traded is completely out of my hands. I have ABSOLUTELY no control in that decision making. All I can do is wait and see how it all plays out. As for now, I am a Charger and will be until I am told otherwise.”

    G.M. A.J. Smith fired back after Tomlinson’s comments. But according to Kevin Acee, the reporter who got Smith’s response, the jabs were aimed more at agent Tom Condon than Tomlinson.
    http://www.profootballtalk.com/category/rumor-mill/
     
  7. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    No argument here. LT needs to accept reality, AJ needs to back off the my way or the highway attitude.

    I definitely agree that, if LT really wants to stay here, that he'll work with the FO on the financial side of the deal.

    I'm not sold that LT wants to stay here & play for Norv. :no:
    Or work for AJ. :no:
     
  8. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    I tend to agree. He has not been Mr Happy since Brees was released and Marty got the boot. There might be a bit of a grudge there.


    It is reality and another good article like the recent Acee one.

    A segment of the fan base hates AJ. It is what it is and any thing that is seen as slight, is blown into a fuking mountain. That walking gas can Trotter is a prime example and the moths just fly to the flames.

    I look at AJ and his group as the best GM org the chargers have ever had. This team has become a consistent winner from Butlers ground work to AJ carrying it forward to where we are now.
     
  9. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I'm not in the "AJ is GAWD" club. Is he the best that the Chargers have had? Since I've been on this ride, yes. I s he the best in the league? Not to my way of thinking, but that is based largely on the fact that I feel his hard line stances are at times out of place & detrimental to the overall goal of winning a championship.

    If I were to judge him as a person? Again, IMO, I think he's a prick. But I doubt that I'll be sitting down & having a beer with him any time soon. :lol:
     
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  10. Lightning's Girl

    Lightning's Girl Mod Chick =) Staff Member Moderator

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    ITA.:tup:
     
  11. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    No question he is a hard ***. That **** with Gates was a prime example. He was too blunt in his statement, but what else is new. LT for his part, should have not started talking in the press and posting that "I dont know if I will be here" **** on his site AFTER Norv told him the trade rumors were ridiculous.

    I'm not ready to crown his ***, yet. Hang some fuking hardware at HQ and we can start talking about it.
     
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  12. boltsnow

    boltsnow BoltTalker

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    One word...........DIELMAN!
     
  13. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    AJ is a hard *** and you know what, people love him for it. Manning, Gates, Dielman, etc. Now all of a sudden its not good
     
  14. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    That article was fantastic. Really a great great read.

    Thank you! :bolt: :tup:
     
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  15. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    :tup:

    I still love AJ.
     
  16. Chargers-Superhero

    Chargers-Superhero Just win the Damn SB !!!

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    Seriously, with a healthy LT, and Merriman, there is no reason after the past failures in the playoffs the past few years, we just flat out win it all this coming year.

    More experienced, more mature, I don't think there will be any slow start, or second guessing next year.
     

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