Antonio Gates is likely to be targeted for a new contract before McNeill, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Jackson, set to be suspended to open the year, appears to be third in line.
Here’s another bucket of cold water for McNeill and Jackson: San Diego hasn’t started contract talks with Gates yet.
McNeill and Jackson ultimately look like the thorniest restricted free agent situations in the league. The players won’t receive new long-term contracts, but their holdout threats are more legitimate than most.
Meanwhile, the Chargers really don’t want to start Tra Thomas at left tackle, with Malcom Floyd at Philips Rivers’ top target, no matter what they say.
Acee raises the possibility of a short-term pay bump for both players, which makes a lot of sense to us as a band-aid until the collective bargaining agreement is worked out.