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SDUT: Tomlinson celebrates as Neal agrees to extension

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by ChargerRay, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. ChargerRay

    ChargerRay #FireMcCoy #FireReich #FirePagano Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005
    By Kevin Acee

    October 27, 2005

    The Chargers are expected to announce today that fullback Lorenzo Neal has agreed to terms on a two-year, $2 million contract extension.

    Neal, in his 13th NFL season, will receive a $500,000 signing bonus and $750,000 each of the next two seasons. He is earning $1 million in the final year of his current contract.

    It is the second pact this week locking up a veteran Chargers player. On Monday, the Chargers and left tackle Roman Oben agreed on a two-year, $2 million extension.

    Neal, who is expected to sign the contract today, left the facility almost immediately after practice and did not return a phone message.

    The primary beneficiary of Neal's talent at sustaining blocks lit up when Neal's contract extension was mentioned.

    "I'm so happy he is going to be here two more years," LaDainian Tomlinson said. "I was kind of worried his contract was up. I was like, 'I wonder if Lo is going to be here.' It's a relief he's going to be here. It's great to know."

    Neal has been the fullback blocking for eight straight 1,000-yard rushers – Tomlinson the past two years, Cincinnati's Corey Dillon in 2001 and '02, Tennessee's Eddie George in 1999 and 2000, Tampa Bay's Warrick Dunn in '98 and the New York Jets' Adrian Murrell in '97.

    "He does a great job blocking," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said recently. "Sometimes a play doesn't go exactly as it was designed. He has a terrific ability to adjust and still hit people on the move."

    Recently asked about his role in an offense, Neal broke it down the way he does most things – with a humorous analogy.

    "Me and L.T. we talk," he said. "It's kind of like fruits and vegetables. People, they like the melons, the strawberries, the bananas, they like the tomatoes. I'm like that old onion. When you want a good hamburger, you've got to call on that onion. I'm the flavor."

    Hurting units
    Three-quarters of the starting linebacker corps and two-fifths of the starting offensive line missed practice yesterday.

    Linebackers Donnie Edwards (knee), Steve Foley (abdominal muscle) and Randall Godfrey (neck), right guard Mike Goff (ankle) and center Nick Hardwick (ankle) are all listed as questionable.

    Schottenheimer indicated the linebackers will all be ready to play Sunday against Kansas City.

    Goff, who has missed just six starts since 2000, played with the sprained ankle last week. Hardwick missed Sunday's game at Philadelphia.

    Tight end Antonio Gates (thigh) also missed a portion of team drills, though he is expected to play as well.

    Additionally, left tackle Oben wore a humongous brace on his right knee, which was also wrapped. But Oben, who has missed just six starts since 1998, worked yesterday. Tackle Shane Olivea (back) was also listed as questionable.

    The good news for the Chargers: cornerback Drayton Florence, who has missed the past two games with a sprained ankle, returned to practice. Cornerback Sammy Davis, who left Sunday's game with bruised ribs, also practiced.

    Kicker Nate Kaeding (back) was also listed as questionable.

    Nuts 'n' Bolts
    Schottenheimer said rookie Darren Sproles will resume punt-return duty this week. Sproles, who has had a little trouble cleanly fielding punts, was replaced by Eric Parker at Philadelphia. . . . Oben's extension calls for him to receive a $400,000 signing bonus and base salaries of $800,000 in both 2007 and 2008. His base salaries for this season and next remain unchanged. . . . There will be no TV blackouts this season. Scattered single tickets remain for the Dec. 31 season finale against Denver, but every other game is sold out.

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