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Murkier waters for Chargers, McNeill

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    By Tim Sullivan, UNION-TRIBUNE COLUMNIST
    Friday, July 9, 2010

    The Chargers have their reasons.
    When the fog is so thick that it shrouds your steps, a man tends to move with less confidence. So it is with Dean Spanos and Co. as they contemplate an expiring labor contract and the uncertainty surrounding the 2011 season.
    Not so, however, with the New York Jets.
    The signing of left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson to a six-year, $60 million contract extension gives the Jets a large leg up in pursuit of the Super Bowl and leaves the Chargers a slightly wobblier stance in their ongoing impasse with their own blindside Pro Bowler, Marcus McNeill.
    Granted, San Diego is not New York. Furthermore, the Chargers are neither opening a new stadium in the fall nor scrambling to sell overpriced, underwanted Personal Seat Licenses that have already been deeply discounted. Despite the NFL’s pronounced socialism, individual franchises continue to operate with profoundly different sets of circumstances, debt loads and business models.
    One size never did fit all and no one deal necessarily dictates another.
    Still, if the Chargers are understandably more risk-averse than the No. 2 football team in America’s No. 1 market, they are also likely to suffer by comparison. Vis-a-vis the Chargers, the Jets appear to be an outfit inclined toward one-upmanship.
    Having bumped the Bolts from last season’s playoffs and having embraced both the discarded LaDainian Tomlinson and the discounted Antonio Cromartie, the Jets appear committed to a strategy of making San Diego squirm. In extending Ferguson’s deal with two years remaining on his current contract, the Jets have helped to legitimize McNeill’s grievances and possibly prolonged his holdout.
    Ferguson’s new deal gives him $34.8 million in guaranteed money, a record for an offensive lineman. If McNeill is worth somewhat less — he was the 50th pick in the same 2006 draft in which Ferguson was chosen fourth, and has been more susceptible to injury — he should not be made to worry about his next million meals.
    McNeill’s agent, Alvin Keels, reacted to word of Ferguson’s deal Wednesday with a trimphant Twitter post: “6 years/$60 million/$35 million guaranteed for D’Brickashaw Ferguson with 2 years left on his (contract). Another premium deal for a Left Tackle.”
    The Chargers have their reasons, but they’re not operating in a vacuum.
    In reducing their one-year tender offer to McNeill from $3.168 million to $600,000 last month, the Chargers effectively told the tackle that they were: A) willing to wait him out and B) prepared to play rough.
    Their message to Chargers fans, however, came across as confusing. By formally lowballing both McNeill and wide receiver Vincent Jackson, the Chargers appeared to be pointlessly provoking two of their better players, both restricted free agents, calcifying resistance at a point in the negotiating process that called for compromise.
    Though other NFL teams made similar moves, and other restricted free agents signed their original tenders under duress (notably Denver’s Elvis Dumervil), the Chargers’ position struck many fans as more punitive than tactical. To my mind, it has yet to be adequately explained.
    Though Jackson has forfeited some sympathy through repeated DUIs, a reported three-game suspension and other assorted stupidity, McNeill bears none of that public baggage and shoulders much of the responsibility for the preservation of Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers. He plays a position where it seldom pays to scrimp.
    Even now, barely a month before the preseason opener, it’s hard to imagine that Chargers’ management has made its last move or its final offer. Even now, it’s tough to think journeyman Tra Thomas will be entrusted to shield Rivers’ blind side when the regular season starts Sept. 13 in Kansas City.
    Just as the Tennessee Titans have shifted out of an inflexible position to seek a compromise with their disenchanted dynamo, Chris Johnson, the Chargers are not legally, morally or ethically bound to the arbitrary line they have drawn with McNeill. Nor can their fear of the unknown be confined to labor issues when a $92 million quarterback is being protected by a 35-year-old warhorse fresh off the waiver wire.
    How they will proceed, however, is unclear, and probably by design. A Chargers spokesman said Thursday that Dean Spanos was “unavailable,” and efforts to reach General Manager A.J. Smith were unsuccessful. Neither did McNeill’s Twittering agent respond to a request for a more substantial statement.
    Maybe their silence was a good sign. Maybe it means nothing. Surely, though, all parties have an overriding interest in getting a deal done.
    “Our position now with the labor unrest is we’re going to shut it down and take it slow,” Smith told Yahoo’s Michael Silver in an interview Monday. “We’re on hold right now. We’re not the lone ranger, but we’re on hold.”
    That was four days ago, the equivalent of 10 lifetimes in a contract negotiation. That was before D’Brickashaw Ferguson moved the market for left tackles.
    The Chargers have their reasons, but they are subject to change.
     
  2. Skuzzlebutt

    Skuzzlebutt BoltTalker

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    I thought this was a good read.

    In the comments section, someone mentions a breakdown of Ferguson's contract which indicates it isn't as 'guaranteed' as we might think. That it is actually the exact kind of deal AJ would love to sign MM to (and the type I have been begging for) which protects the team in the case of a lockout next year. Anyone have the details on that?

    Sign Marcus to a solid salary with a small bonus now, and he gets the rest of his bonus when any labor disputes are resolved. Seems reasonable to me...
     
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    It would have been a much better article if Sullivan had bothered to see the true numbers behind Ferguson's contract. His only guarantee is a 1 yr. contract worth a little north of $5mil - not that much more than McNeill's original tender.
     
  4. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Shouldn't that be Muddy Waters??????
     
  5. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    AJ's got his mojo woikin'. :icon_banana:
     
  6. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Not that I am saying he is wrong, but Mike Florio seems to be the only one saying the deal is different than reported, while everyone else, including ESPN, is reporting the $34mil guaranteed. Either he knows more than everyone else, or he isn't correct.

    I have a hard time believing that he has actually seen the contract, so for him to report what the details are makes me scratch my head. Maybe he is just better than the rest, but I would like to see someone else confirm his report before I put a lot of stock into it
     
  7. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    mcneils agents screwed mcneil big time. Very bad advice not to sign the tender.

    I thought mcneil maybe had a brain. But to trust a swindler pimp agent has screwed mcneal out of big money for years.
     
  8. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    Here is the contract from Rotoworld:

    7/7/2010: Signed an eight-year, $73.6 million contract. The deal contains $34.8 million guaranteed, including a $1.6 million signing bonus. 2010: $$622,500 (+ $3.1 million roster bonus), 2011: $5.615 million (+ $3.9 million option bonus), 2012: $9.985 million, 2013: $7.25 million, 2014-2017: Under Contract, 2018: Free Agent

    2010 - 1.6M Sign Bonus + 3.1M Roster + 622K Salary = 5.2Mil
    He gets hurt in 2010 for good, he gets nothing else. 34 Mil guaranteed is not correct based on these numbers. What is not posted are the details of the injury clause.

    2011 - 5.6M Salary + 3.9M(option bonus) = 9.5M

    2012 - 10M Salary

    2013 - 7.25M Salary

    2014-1017 not listed.
     
  9. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    Agent, please. Like the world is stupid enough to buy that all Left Tackles are created equally.

    How about this, Alvin. The Chargers pay McNeil on a scale commensurate to the difference between D'Brickashaw's and McNeil's rookie contracts.
     
  10. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    QUOTE=foober;621036]mcneils agents screwed mcneil big time. Very bad advice not to sign the tender.

    I thought mcneil maybe had a brain. But to trust a swindler pimp agent has screwed mcneal out of big money for years.[/QUOTE]
    :yawn::yawn::yawn::yawn::yawn:
     
  11. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    :yawn::yawn::yawn::yawn::yawn:[/QUOTE]

    Yes... we've seen you put the multiple yawn icon on other of Foober's posts to the same effect. Check. We get it. It bores you so much that you go out of your way to create a post with multiple yawning icons.
     
  12. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Yes... we've seen you put the multiple yawn icon on other of Foober's posts to the same effect. Check. We get it. It bores you so much that you go out of your way to create a post with multiple yawning icons.[/QUOTE]

    :yawn::yawn: :icon_tease:

    I'll use this :deadhorse: next time. :D
     
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