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The more things change, the more they… Change.

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

    Mar 5, 2006
    The Chargers are going through some changes. More sweeping than perhaps any we have seen under the watchful eye of General Manager AJ Smith. The Chargers have seven players who have declared for Free Agency this off season, and they traded Antonio Cromartie to the Jets. The Chargers have tendered six players including Shawne Merriman, Darren Sproles, Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill. Also the Chargers have cut ties with three players including two fan favorites, Jamal Williams and LaDainian Tomlinson.

    It is possibly the most frustrating aspect to the ‘business’ of the game of football, that being that fan favorite players often are sent packing before they are ready to stop playing. That is the case with the great LaDanian Tomlinson, who was told on February 22nd that he would no longer be part of the team.
    "I told him that in the 26 years that I've been in this business, it was probably the hardest thing I've had to do," Chargers President and CEO, Dean Spanos told The Associated Press. "I'm not close to a lot of the players, but there's a handful that I've been close with, and he's probably the closest. It was really difficult to tell him. But out of respect, I wanted to tell him earlier rather than later."
    Tomlinson was due a $2 million roster bonus by March 5th, and even though he still had two years left on his contract, it was decided it was time for the Chargers and one of the greatest Running Backs in league history to part ways.

    The Chargers also cut fan favorite 2 time Pro Bowl 12 year veteran Nose Tackle Jamal ‘the Wall’ Williams. Jamal had spent most of last season on the Injured Reserve list. Williams had anchored the Chargers Defensive Line since the Chargers went to the 3-4 Defense under then Defensive Coordinator Wade Philips. Williams was one of the last players who have been on the Chargers since Bobby Beathard was the Chargers GM.’

    The Chargers hope to work out a contract that will allow them to bring Williams back, but given the recent injury, age and

    One interesting aspect of the 2010 off season is that in the capless year the final eight teams who make the playoffs the season before will be restricted in how many Free Agents they can sign. For instance the teams that Colts and Saints, teams that played in the Superbowl are ineligible to sign unrestricted free agents unless they first lose a unrestricted free agent. Further the new free agent cannot be signed for more than the free agent they lost got signed for. This does not impact restricted free agents.

    This makes it more difficult for teams to get into the free agent market if they were one of the final eight, but one way they can is to offer a ‘tender’ on a player. The Chargers as aforementioned did this with six players. They put a third round tender on backup Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. This means that If a team wants to sign a Whitehurst, then it will have to give the Chargers a third round pick in the upcoming draft to do so. The Chargers have also placed 1st and 3rd round tenders on Running Back Darren Sproles, Linebacker Shawne Merriman, Left Offensive Tackle Marcus McNeill, and Wide Receivers Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd.

    This could be risky, as this means that if any team is willing to part with the draft picks they can ‘cull’ the player from our roster. However, if a team was to give up picks to get a player, then it would also give AJ Smith considerable maneuvering room in the upcoming draft to replace the player and work out a favorable rookie contract. In an offseason where sweeping changes are occurring, there is a possibility that if players are lost there will be less impact in the locker room than perhaps in an off season where there are not a lot of changes happening.

    In the NFL, the more things changes the more they stay the same. Chargers fans went through this when the Chargers decided to cut Jr. Seau and Rodney Harrison. Many fans were frustrated and up in arms. Some were ready to march on Charger Park with pitchforks and torches held high. This offseason has been no different.

    There are accusation that Smith is tearing down the team, that there is no loyalty in the NFL. Well one harsh fact of the NFL, is that the game is not a game. There is no loyalty, there is only the moment. The moments are fleeting, each year players strive to remain on the team and to improve. Such is the case of Kassim Osgood, who the signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason as a free agent.

    Osgood was a three time Pro Bowl player on special teams where his play excelled. However he wanted to play more at wide receiver. The development of players like Jackson and Floyd made that difficult. To gain playing time as a wide out Osgood moved to Florida, the other sunshine state.

    Brandon Manumaleuna signed a contract with the Chicago Bears on the first day of free agency; Manumaleuna was a backup Tight End with the Chargers since AJ Smith obtained him via a trade form the St. Louis Rams in 2006. Now Manumaleuna will compete for a role as a starting Tight End with the Bears. Again, a player moving to another team to try and get the position or playing time they want. So loyalty is lacking on either side of the fence, or more accurately either side of the contract negotiation table.

    Looking at the history of the Chargers under Smith have been consistent and successful. One could argue that the Chargers have been one of the most talented team and that in large Smith is responsible for that. While not perfect in all the draft picks, what GM ever is? We are entering into an uncertain time when the rules governing the league are changing. I am sure that there are many surprises ahead the fans. Looking at the recent history the Chargers have an assembled front office staff to keep them competitive.

    List of Player Moves:

    Michael Bennett: cut.
    Alfonso Boone: re-signed/unrestricted free agent (two-year contract).
    Antonio Garay: signed (two-year contract).
    Eric Ghiaciuc: declared free agent.
    Marques Harris: declared free agent.
    Brandon Manumaleuna: declared free agent. Signed with the Chicago Bears
    Dennis Norman: declared free agent.
    Kassim Osgood declared free agent. Signed with Jacksonville Jaguars.
    Jon Runyan: declared free agent.
    Ian Scott: declared free agent.
    Dontarrious Thomas: declared free agent.
    LaDainian Tomlinson: cut.
    Jamal Williams: cut.
    Kris Wilson: re-signed/unrestricted free agent (two-year contract).

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