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Oh the drama; VJ vs. AJ

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    By Cutris M. Egan
    BoltTalk Staff Writer

    Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod have a beef with the San Diego Chargers. It seems they feel that the Chargers General Manager AJ Smith was not accommodating enough in recent contract negotiations. Mr. Schwartz seems to feel that AJ was being unreasonable by not allowing his client Chargers holdout Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson to jet off to Minnesota to catch passes from the venerable Brett Farvre.

    Mr. Schwartz also seems to feels that AJ and the Chargers should have allowed them to negotiate with any team for any deal they can arrange, and that the Chargers should graciously take whatever they get and like it.

    That is not the way the system works however. The Chargers can limit who Jackson’s agents speak to. Would we want Jackson going to a divisional rival? No!

    I agree that in light of the impasse that Jackson and his agents should be able to try and find a team that would be a more comfortable fit for the troubled yet talented Jackson. They were given that exact opportunity.

    However if the Jackson camp sets a high price for his services, which they have, why should the Chargers not expect to receive compensation for Jackson that is commiserate with what the Jackson camp is requesting? It seems logical to me that the Chargers would want to get compensated well for losing a good player, one whom they control contractually.

    Unless you are sitting in front of a game system and TV with a controller in your hand playing Madden NFL; this is not a game. The NFL is a business and it can be cold and hard. Perhaps Jackson should have reminded his agents of that fact. It is not a new fact that AJ does not bend when negotiating with players or their agents, no matter what insults are leveled through the media.

    There are a lot of people in the media crucifying AJ Smith for not being ‘nice’. News flash! It is not AJ’s job to be nice, neither is it to help Jackson move on to another team, nor to help the Vikings, Rams or any other ‘non-disclosed’ team get better unless it benefits the Chargers.

    Further, I can assure you that AJ will not be judged by how he handled Jackson, or the other notable holdout, Marcus McNeil. AJ will be judged solely on the presence of Lombardi trophies at Charger Park or lack thereof. That is all. That is what the measurement of AJs legacy with the Chargers will be. Not Jackson. Not McNeil. Not if he was nice…

    For those fans who believe that AJ is somehow making the Chargers a worse team by the way he is handling things I ask you to remember one little fact. Since AJ took the reins of the Chargers the team has the fourth best winning record in the NFL. I challenge any fan to explain to me how AJ can be tearing the team apart, yet field a competitive team each and every year. That mentality defies logic if you ask me.

    I also wonder why Jacksons agents decided to take the path of negotiations they did with the Chargers. History shows AJ has been extremely consistent in his dealings with players. Does anyone remember back in 2005 when Tight End Antonio Gates held out of training camp, demanding a long-term contract? AJ did the same thing as he did this year. He made and offer then delivered an ultimatum; ‘Sign and get in camp or be placed on the Roster Exempt List.’ Does this sound familiar Mr. Schwartz?

    Go back further in the annuals of the Chargers. We used to have a good Running Back named Natrone Means (you thought I was going to mention LT, didn’t you?) He held out, and ended up being shipped out to the Jacksonville Jaguars where he never had the success he enjoyed in San Diego. This was in the 1990’s before AJ Smith was the GM of the Chargers. This is a constant with the team. They set the value on their players. If there is a big gap, no deal gets done. That is a historical fact.

    Could AJ be a ‘nicer’ person? Sure. But he is not running for a public office. He is not trying to build a ‘kinder and gentler Chargers’ he is trying to build a championship team. AJ’s job is not public relations; that is Bill Johnson’s job. AJ does not have to be Mr. Warm and Fuzzy..

    Mr. Jackson, let me remind you of an antidotal saying ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words’. You say you want to play, but you are not playing. You earn long term contracts in camp, on the field. Not on the couch. As a fan I have serious doubts when a player says they want to be in camp, or on the field yet holds out. Malcom Floyd is on the field. He signed his tender and is trying to prove by ACTIONS that he deserves a long term contract with the Chargers.

    I understand Mr. Jackson that you want a long term deal, and it makes sense to me why you want that. But it puzzles me that you seem willing to give up a year of your prime to prove how much you want the deal. You will most likely be 30 before you play again, and you will probably not play a single snap in your 29th year. NFL players do not have a long shelf life, and you are giving up a year of yours. Is this the sound advice your agents are giving you?

    It seems like a very risky gamble to me. You have no guarantees that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement will release you as a free agent, or that there will be a 2011 season. Are you ready to sit out two years? Does that increase your market value do you think?

    Further Jackson’s agents made some serious claims in the media. One was that the General Managers from other teams said AJ was being unreasonable in not trading Jackson.

    Really? So the team that wanted Jackson felt the Chargers or more accurately AJ was unreasonable because he did not let them have him for a reduced price? Sour grapes anyone?

    Also let me point out that the GM or the St. Louis Rams was published as saying that AJ was not being unreasonable. Could it be that the agents in this case are skewing the information to get a favorable ‘media’ response. Again, Mr. Schwartz that approach has not worked in the past when people have tried that with AJ.

    As a fan I get frustrated when players and teams cannot find a middle ground. It seems like it should be easy but I realize that my opinion is based on my ignorance of what the process actually is like.

    Though I get frustrated, I am glad that the Chargers have a no nonsense GM like AJ who has a long term plan that to this point is working. The Chargers are contenders each and every year. You can’t make the Super Bowl unless you can make the playoffs. The Chargers make the playoffs regularly under AJ’s watch.

    I encourage you to ask yourself, what is the job of a GM in the NFL? Is it to make the fans happy? Make the players happy? It is not to make player agents happy; I can assure you of that.

    According to the Chargers Director of Public Relations, Bill Johnson who was kind enough to return my email, AJ’s duties are defined as this:

    Bottom line, A.J. is responsible for building a winning team, both now and next year and the year after and the year after and so on. That includes acquiring players and building the roster, getting the right players, signing players, keeping players, juggling the salary cap, deciding who gets how much, building and maintaining a winning coaching staff, etc. etc. etc. Ultimately he’s in charge everyone and everything that has anything to do with our product on the field.”
    That seems pretty straight forward to me. He is not responsible for making one or two players happy. He has to focus on the entire team, the product on the field. That includes ensuring that the team does not encourage hold outs or bad behavior by caving to player or agent demands that are not in the best interests of the Chargers.

    Frankly Mr. Johnson would know, he joined the Chargers in 1979 and has worked with multiple Chargers GMs.

    I understand the desire for long term stability that McNeil and Jackson desire. I would as well if I were lucky enough to be in their cleats. However with the uncertainty in today’s NFL there is no real long term stability. I don’t know what the next CBA will look like, or if any games will be played in 2011. So is it logical to expect the Chargers to provide long term contracts to players who are not on the field? It is not logical to me.

    I am a fan of both players. The rhetoric that has been thrown around has made me lose some respect for Jackson, while gaining some for McNeil who does not engage in media warfare with the Chargers or AJ.

    The bottom line for me is the players who want to play are, and The Chargers are not faltering because of the holdouts. That tells me that AJ and his staff have done their jobs right, they have players who can maintain the effectiveness of the San Diego Chargers even without Jackson and McNeil. Further last year when injuries impacted the team as much as it did, we had the depth of talent to overcome. THAT in my opinion is what I feel AJ’s focus has to be; Keeping the team competitive all season long.

    If I want warm and fuzzy I will pet my dog.
     
  2. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    bottom line is that "NICE" guys finish last. There are a lot of agents out there that GM's do not want to deal with. I think we just got a GM that agents do not want to deal with. Call him names, call him what ever you want, but right now we call him the general manager of the San Diego Chargers.
     
  3. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Commentary: Sifting through ashes of VJ vs. A.J.
    BY KEVIN ACEE
    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2010 AT 10:08 P.M.

    Chargers Vincent Jackson and A.J. Smith remain at loggerheads.

    This has to start with the bottom line.


    A.J. Smith should have traded Vincent Jackson. This isn’t the first time I’ve written it. I’ve sat in the man’s office and asked again and again why he doesn’t just do it. I think Jackson still being a Charger (in name only) is a mistake.

    It’s almost certain the best the Chargers can hope for now is the 97th pick in the 2012 draft as compensation should Jackson leave as an unrestricted free agent after this season. They could have gotten a pick 35 or so spots higher in 2011 from the Minnesota Vikings.

    But it is the Chargers’ right not to trade Jackson, just like it was Vincent Jackson’s right not to play for $3.268 million.

    And as the world turns away from what Jackson’s agents have devolved into a soap opera, here’s your guiding light to a few issues:

    The Whitehurst Factor

    Every general manager I’ve ever covered in any sport has reminded me you don’t trade your gold for someone else’s bronze. Pretty easy for armchair GMs to say the Chargers should have taken a second-round pick for Jackson. But Smith gets to assign value, because even though Jackson and his agents seem to have forgotten, Smith is in charge. Consider: In exchange for Charlie Whitehurst, who has never thrown an NFL pass, Smith in March moved up 20 spots in the second round and got a third-round pick to boot.

    Setting precedent

    Yes, this was a message: Don’t mess with A.J. It was about not being taken advantage of. I’ve talked to executives with three different teams who think the Jets were foolish to deal as they did with Darrelle Revis (who has the same agents as Jackson). I’ve talked with dozens of agents about how agents Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod handled Jackson’s situation over the past four months, and not one agreed with their tactics.

    This will not hurt

    Everyone who says Smith’s hardball tactics will bite him because players won’t want to play for the Chargers should consider the cases of Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates. Smith publicly flogged Rivers’ agent while they were negotiating the QB’s rookie deal. Smith absolutely put the screws to Gates in their 2005 contract negotiation. Yet in the last 13 months both players signed long-term deals with the Chargers. (You know who represents Gates? Tom Condon, whom Smith can’t stand.) Also, consider Jackson’s agents continue to say Jackson would happily still play for the Chargers if they paid him properly.

    Ignoring three little letters

    In March I wrote the Chargers should pay Jackson more than Brandon Marshall got from Miami. But the Chargers had already made up their minds — following Jackson’s Jan. 17 game-day citation for driving on a suspended license, which followed his two DUI arrests — that the receiver was not in their long-term plans. When Jackson talks about being treated unethically and his agents say they don’t understand why the Chargers haven’t just given Jackson a long-term deal, it is a case of selective amnesia. It’s also pretty easy to say the Chargers should construct a contract that protects them financially in the event Jackson gets in trouble again. What about having committed to him as your No.1 receiver with the very real potential he would be out for a season?

    Lord of No Rings

    To put stock in the contention by Schwartz and Feinsod that “more than one” general manager they dealt with referred to Smith as “The Lord of No Rings” seems far-fetched. First, there are only four or five GMs who could have said it, since that is all that were involved. None of those have won rings themselves. One of them, Washington's Bruce Allen, is Smith's closest friend. And if one of the general managers did say it, that’s even more difficult to take seriously.

    And one more ...

    As in one more year. Remember, the Chargers believe Jackson will still be under their control next season based on language in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement that says a restricted free agent who doesn’t play in a league year remains under his old team’s control. Word is that the players’ union has assured agents that won’t be the case under the new CBA, but we could be doing this all over again next year.

    Commentary: Sifting through ashes of VJ vs. A.J. - SignOnSanDiego.com
     
  4. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Those agents are so full of ****. Like a bunch of GMs who have not won **** are going to refer to another GM without a SB as the "Lord of no Rings."
     
  5. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    plus look at the g.m.s that have won recently. The cheatorits cheated big time to win thier lombardis. And the referees definelty gave the stealers the lombardi against the seahawks a couple years ago. Helps to have people in place in the nfl that can help you cheat to win lombardis in the nfl.

    The chargers are knocking on the door. Have been for a couple years now. WE either need to cheat like the cheatorits or pittsburgh did or just get a good enough team that can win even if the bookys and bought off refs don't want it.
     
  6. powayslugger

    powayslugger Feckless Slappy

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    Great article Conc.
     
  7. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Thanks. I was nervous that I didnt convey my thoughts well...
     
  8. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    The writer misses the point the players have every right to SIT OUT and uses the excuse of losing respect because VJ did an interview which was a positive interview in context.

    That it is weak and self serving and disrespectful to the player and their future.

    This writer has also burned any bridges he has with Vincent Jackson or anyone in his camp.

    End of story.
     
  9. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Bwaaaahahahahaha....
     
  10. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    It's true Quaksaw said it so it mos be true :lol:
     
  11. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    And you will be hard pressed to find anyone around here who wants VJ back, he has all ready shown us that he is in it for the money, and its only the money he wants. he can haul ash and if he is so broke that he needs help packing to get out of here, I am there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    Fans have short memories. If VJ signed long term tomorrow and caught a TD in his return, fans would forgive his drunk as.s.
     
  13. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I have no personal investment either way, I believe Jackoffson brought this all down on himself. If he re-signs with the Bolt's great if not, thanks for your service and good luck. I called Tomlinson's whining as a sign of trouble a head and it turned out that way. I wish him luck and he seems to be doing well, I really did want it to be with the Bolt's though. Same with Jackoffson, he made his play and more shall be revealed when this all comes to a conclusion. In the end Tomlinson's true colors shown brightly through, for that I was embarrassed for him. He's in a better place now and can play free of mind which he was unable to do here the last few years.
     
  14. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    but we know that will not happen. This has gone on to long now, and it has gone beyond the point of no return. AJ is not backing down and VJ has shoved his head up his rearend so far he will never get it out.

    I doubt he ever puts on a Uniform here in San Diego again.
     
  15. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Like you and the others forgave Drew Brees? Remember when you were climbing up his colon weekly and no matter how many TDs he threw you would say he was no good.

    So how short was your memory?
     
  16. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    I have not forgotten.
     
  17. powayslugger

    powayslugger Feckless Slappy

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    VJ will be gone... this writer will be interviewing him one day in a losing locker room at Qualcomm Stadium but never again as a Charger. As far as VJs agents... these guys are going to fade into the San Diego sunset. I doubt they try this trick again.. although they did scare the money out of the pharking Jets manglement.
     
  18. powayslugger

    powayslugger Feckless Slappy

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    maybe VJ can get a job parking cars at the airport? Talk to Ogi Nwagboa maybe he can hook you up with a connection down there. I predict VJ sits the whole year... he seems to be trying to out-stubborn AJ... but funny thing AJ is still getting paid.

    VJ took the stupid road on this one. Bad advice from his two bozo the clown agents.
     

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