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The San Diego Chargers have added another running back, claiming former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Michael Bennett on waivers.
At first blush, that wouldn’t seem to make much sense: The Chargers have LaDainian Tomlinson as their starter, Darren Sproles is having a good season in relief of Tomlinson, and they spent this year’s third-round draft pick on Jacob Hester.
But Adam Schefter of NFL Network points out the real reason the Chargers claimed Bennett: They want to keep him from the Broncos. Denver is desperate for help at running back, and with the Chargers a game behind the Broncos in the AFC West, San Diego is desperate to keep Denver from improving. The Broncos and Chargers both put in claims on Bennett, but since the Chargers have a worse record, the Chargers get priority.
This isn’t the first time the Chargers have made a waiver claim solely to stop a division rival from  adding a player. In 2002, the Washington Redskins waived Deion Sanders from the reserve/retired list. Sanders had wanted to come out of retirement to join the Oakland Raiders during their playoff run, but the Chargers claimed Sanders to keep him from the Raiders.
That, of course, was particularly galling to Sanders, because the reason he retired from the Redskins in the first place was that he didn’t want to play for then-Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer — who was the Chargers’ coach when San Diego claimed him.

Permalink 24 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Denver Broncos, Rumor Mill, San Diego Chargers
  1. ACDC84 says: Nov 12, 2008 6:08 PM

    Anyone know exactly how the waiver process works? Did SD know Denver put in a claim for Bennentt, or did SD claim him just to be safe? Is the waiver claim list available to teams before the claim is processed or after?

  2. RedLeg15 says: Nov 12, 2008 6:11 PM

    I’d say there is another reason the Bolts laid claim to Bennett. S.D. plays in Tampa in week 16. I don’t know how much Bennett will be able to help the Chargers with the Bucs offensive scheme(not that it’s that hard to gameplan agaist it anyway) One of the reasons being floated around town is that he never really got the playbook and asignments down. I always had a little hope for M.B. here in Tampa, but it’s well known that if you aren’t one of Gruden’s guys your ass is on the bench.

  3. Jon Snow says: Nov 12, 2008 6:16 PM

    If you can’t beat ’em…

  4. omegalh says: Nov 12, 2008 6:18 PM

    Marty should replace Mooch on the NFL netowrk desk. Deion would be so pissed.

  5. bofarr says: Nov 12, 2008 6:18 PM

    Love this move, the Broncos would be a good fit for Bennett’s running style and blocking him is shrewd. The NFC East and North teams can talk all rivalry all they want but but I think the AFC West is the division with the most good old fashioned hate from the owners all the way down to water boys. The number of “eff you” roster moves that occur in this division is a story unto itself. Marcus Allen sticking it to the Raiders by going to the Chefs is one of my all time favorites.

  6. milehiclown says: Nov 12, 2008 6:20 PM

    One more example how the Bolts are totally queer. Like, TOTALLY.

  7. SpartaChris says: Nov 12, 2008 6:26 PM

    Sucks for Bennett, but smart move by the Bolts.

  8. Garret says: Nov 12, 2008 6:31 PM

    If they did do this to keep him from going to the Donkeys, to me seems silly to occupy a roster spot to hurt an oppenent.

  9. misterhatter says: Nov 12, 2008 6:33 PM

    Raiders? In the playoffs? In this millennium? In this decade? Prime Time wanted to work for Al Davis? Really? That happened?
    Don’t say it too loudly, MDS… you may lose credibility with the video game crowd who only became interested in football recently.

  10. BuckFutter says: Nov 12, 2008 6:40 PM

    Hahahahaha….that was classic!
    Not the Chargers move, just….this sentence….”the Oakland Raiders during their playoff run”.
    Just, that combination of words together….funniest thing I’ve read in a long time.

  11. tumbleweedx says: Nov 12, 2008 6:44 PM

    Good move by the bolts. But then what choice do they have? They need to do everything within the rules to get better. It’s not like video tape but we’ll take it.

  12. CD_Ridge says: Nov 12, 2008 6:51 PM

    Not a bad strategy. I have been known to do the same in FF.

  13. vikingsfront4 says: Nov 12, 2008 7:54 PM

    well at least he will have time to learn how to run on a tredmil

  14. empty13 says: Nov 12, 2008 8:28 PM

    sanders almost went to the raiders back in their super bowl daze. yes i know it seems like a long time ago.
    i always liked carlton fisks’s take on deion. if fisk had been a tight end or wideout on some team that played against prime time, prime time would be reminiscing with capo gino right now.

  15. bgman says: Nov 12, 2008 8:31 PM

    I feel bad for Michael Bennett. He would have been a great fit for the Broncos and probably would have revived his career there. But since the Chargers underachieve on the field, they needed to screw him over in hopes of backing into the playoffs.
    Now Bennett will be inactive for the rest of the season. This may have been his last shot to see if he could produce. By next year he’ll be pushing 30 and will be ages removed from his Pro Bowl form (he had 1,650 combined rushing and receiving yards with the Vikings in 2002).

  16. questionmark says: Nov 12, 2008 8:43 PM

    Arrogant, cocky A.J. Smith playing the role of sissy, catty-b*tch GM – wasting a roster spot so that the Broncos don’t get Michael Bennett. Not Adrian Peterson, not Brandon Jacobs, but Michael Bennett!
    Waaaahhhhh! If I can’t have any fun this year, then you can’t either!
    And my running backs can beat up your running backs.

  17. jcdavey says: Nov 12, 2008 9:52 PM

    bronco fans getting mad at AJ because he blocked their bitch-ass team from picking up a rb, beautiful…

  18. 56lightsout56 says: Nov 12, 2008 9:58 PM

    aww i guess the several poor widdle crybaby donk fans on here didnt get there wish. qq qq qq….
    gee, they cry a lot just like their loser of a QB.
    Shanny should have rung up Ed Hochuli, maybe he could have thrown another flag for you so you could have swipped a RB too.

  19. bjb says: Nov 12, 2008 10:31 PM

    56 Lights out….
    You may want to change your name.
    No way Merriman will be with you guys next year.
    Your organization sucks, and it will get what is coming ot it….Karma is a bitch…and so is your GM.
    Reap what you sow.
    You have some good people as fans, and they deserve better than AJ Smith.

  20. DCIrish says: Nov 13, 2008 12:30 AM

    Neon Deion doesn’t give a shit about the “team.” He only cares about himself. LETS GO PRIMETIME! Lets go blow yourself Deion.

  21. fmfnavydoc says: Nov 13, 2008 1:56 AM

    Funny reading all of this over two teams playing games with each other…and the “Prime Time going to the Raiders for the playoff run” almost had me pissing my pants…
    Oceanside…Escondido…Poway…Bonsall….Chula Vista…Imperial Beach…SHOW ME YOUR LIGHTING BOLT!!!

  22. Fryfat says: Nov 13, 2008 3:58 AM

    Can’t make a play on the field so they make a play on the waivers.

  23. filbertkiwi71 says: Nov 13, 2008 9:06 AM

    “bjb says:
    November 12th, 2008 at 10:31 pm
    56 Lights out….
    You may want to change your name.
    No way Merriman will be with you guys next year.
    Your organization sucks, and it will get what is coming ot it….Karma is a bitch…and so is your GM.
    Reap what you sow.
    You have some good people as fans, and they deserve better than AJ Smith.”
    Merriman is still under contract for another year. He isn’t going anywhere. Wimping and whining because the Chargers picked up a running back that the Broncos may have been interested in is beyond silly. They did what was within the rules.
    No one here knows what plans the Chargers have for Bennett. He may end up playing a lot. Only time will tell. He also didn’t just fill a roster spot. He took the spot of an under performing veteran middle linebacker Derek Smith. Once Cooper, a middle linebacker, came back it was only a matter of time before Smith was let go.
    The Chargers do not have a replacement for Michael Turner who they let go in the off season. In a perfect world the Chargers would have been able to re-sign Turner, but do to salary cap limitations and several players contracts coming due over the next few years, signing Turner would have been a mistake.
    I am not denying the fact that this move does block the Broncos from getting Bennett. I am just saying that there could be multiple reasons for this move being made.

  24. sullijo says: Nov 13, 2008 1:10 PM

    Looks like the Chargers know who is in first place in the division – even if the rest of the world doesn’t.

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