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A.J. Smith's tough talk express rolls on

Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith will see your long holdout threats and raise you some strong rhetoric.

“We lost a couple of great players today, and it hurts,” Smith said after officially lowering wideout Vincent Jackson and tackle Marcus McNeill’s contract tenders on Tuesday. 

“We are trying to build a championship team, and losing the
services of both Vincent and Marcus just made that more difficult — but
not impossible. In due time, Coach [Norv] Turner will name two new
starters
. We will rally as a team, compete and try to win as many games
as we can,” Smith told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Smith already signed players at both positions to increase the team’s depth.  Now he’s talking about his stars in the past tense.

“It was a very unpleasant situation we all had to deal with,” Smith
said. “It came to a conclusion today. We will now move forward and focus
on the upcoming season.”

But is this a conclusion?  Are we to believe there will really be no movement, news, or developments until Week Ten, when Jackson and McNeill plan to show up?

This year is like no other, but the history of contract disputes suggests this situation is just getting started.

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29 Responses to “A.J. Smith's tough talk express rolls on”
  1. rydendonkeys says: Jun 16, 2010 11:07 AM

    Worst bluff ever. Give me a break.
    I really hope this is serious.
    Chargers have a horrible owner.

  2. SMUGGS1 says: Jun 16, 2010 11:14 AM

    ITS ABOUT TIME…………

  3. DB26 says: Jun 16, 2010 11:14 AM

    Jackson to Cleveland for a 2nd in 2011 & a 2nd in 2012
    McNeil to Buffalo for a 2nd in 2011 & 3rd in 2012
    Both teams have the need and desire for players of their caliber at those positions!

  4. BleedingSilverAndBlack says: Jun 16, 2010 11:23 AM

    nutless, boltless Chargers…

  5. ryno_blah says: Jun 16, 2010 11:23 AM

    Trade the cowboys a first, second and sixth for roy williams. You’re right back in the mix…lol

  6. Furious_D says: Jun 16, 2010 11:28 AM

    Sounds excellent to me -as a Raider fan.

  7. Really? says: Jun 16, 2010 11:29 AM

    Cut off your nose to spite your face. Strong strategy there.

  8. Comrade says: Jun 16, 2010 11:30 AM

    I think you are being a bit dramatic, Rosenthal. The man was just stating the facts of the situation.

  9. BoltsFan says: Jun 16, 2010 11:38 AM

    Good move by AJ. Some of these simpleton players (and apparently a few fans) are too dumb to recognize that players are EMPLOYEES. They do NOT run the team, they do NOT manage the business of football, and they do NOT have a say in how much teams choose to pay their personnel. If they didn’t like their offers, they can sit on their couchs at home and take NOTHING. If they want a say in all those things, they need to pony up the money to buy a share of a franchise or two.

  10. KILLER FIN says: Jun 16, 2010 11:42 AM

    Chargers suck anyway who cares!!!

  11. Tinbender says: Jun 16, 2010 11:58 AM

    The guy fires a winning coach to protect his ego. He’s sure as hell not going to let the chances of the Chargers making the playoffs get in the way.

  12. ryno_blah says: Jun 16, 2010 12:00 PM

    @ boltsfan – you have to understand that the players affect the product the fans pay too see. I would normally agree that they need to live up to their contracts, but how often do we see teams cutting players to avoid paying that contract? It’s a two way street. Also, I’m pretty sure you can’t play for a team in which you have ownership.

  13. 23 says: Jun 16, 2010 12:07 PM

    When are these players going to learn that they’re hurting themselves ? How many players have staged a holdout in the middle of a contract and ended up getting what they wanted ?
    Yeah, I’m talking to you Revis, Chris Johnson, Albert Haynesworth, Vincent Jackson & Marcus McNeil.
    You put your name on the dotted line, agreeing to the dollar amount and length of contract and because you played well you deserve to have that contract ripped up and replaced ? And if you underperform next year (like Haynesworth did in ’09), do your teams get to put the old contract back in place ? The NFLPA is accusing the owners of holding salaries down while negotiating new TV deals that will pay them if there aren’t any games next year. Do you really think the teams are going to shell out big (re)signing bonuses to you in THIS environment ? OK, San Fran did it but that’s the exception here kids. But when your team said “no”, you’ve got to man up and honor your word …. bitches !

  14. pacstud says: Jun 16, 2010 12:11 PM

    So what about the 190+ RFAs who signed their tenders?
    Were they wrong?
    Can’t have it both ways people.

  15. jvn says: Jun 16, 2010 12:13 PM

    its hilarious how no one is talkin about merrimans absence or lack of a contract… Granted merrimans tender wasnt decked.. but he is straight retarded… what is the point of him holdin out… charger contracts in order of Importance…Gates#1, MAC#2, VJ#3, THEN merriman… shoot id even re-up Kaedings contract before merriman

  16. Comrade says: Jun 16, 2010 12:34 PM

    Have any RFA’s received a long term deal this year?
    They should have taken the 3+ mil and play their arses off this year, adding further support to the eventual deal they would have received. I wonder what they will get beginning 2012 if their is a lockout for the 2011 season. Probably substatially less than if they play this year.
    The Charger offence is pretty damn good. While these players will be missed, the O will still be good. There are other players hungry for their position.

  17. OntBoltFan says: Jun 16, 2010 12:52 PM

    Tough talk? ‘We lost a couple of great players today’.
    AJ is actually pragmatic and fair. He bent over backwards to appease LT through all of his hissy fits including a $ 5M restructured overpayment for the 2nd worst rushing performance in the NFL last year. He actually has overpaid at many positions including S Clinton Hart, DE Luis Castillo and OLB Jyles Tucker where performance has been less than pay.
    Gates, Rivers all paid top $ for their position. Merriman who had the toughest agent in the business, Poston, was signed as a rookie with no holdout. No rookie or veteran holdouts in his 10 yrs with SD, and VJ and MM would likely be signed in any normal year.

  18. OntBoltFan says: Jun 16, 2010 12:52 PM

    Tough talk? ‘We lost a couple of great players today’.
    AJ is actually pragmatic and fair. He bent over backwards to appease LT through all of his hissy fits including a $ 5M restructured overpayment for the 2nd worst rushing performance in the NFL last year. He actually has overpaid at many positions including S Clinton Hart, DE Luis Castillo and OLB Jyles Tucker where performance has been less than pay.
    Gates, Rivers, Dielman all paid top $ for their position. Merriman who had the toughest agent in the business, Poston, was signed as a rookie with no holdout. No rookie or veteran holdouts in his 10 yrs with SD, and VJ and MM would likely be signed in any normal year.

  19. nflhof says: Jun 16, 2010 12:59 PM

    Are the agents of VJ and MM repping any other players involved with this RFA situation? What are they telling these guys? This is what I am wanting to know. Where are the agents who rep these players? They seem very quiet almost muted.

  20. QJ1984 says: Jun 16, 2010 1:03 PM

    LMAO. I hope Jackson and McNeil call his bluff because thats all this is.

  21. QJ1984 says: Jun 16, 2010 1:07 PM

    @Boltsfan
    Well, thats exactly what they are prepared to do, which will hurt your favorite team. Neither of these guys are under contract and they have every right to try to get what they feel they are worth. And they have the right to not play for the Chargers this season if the Chargers refuse to pay them what they are worth.
    It must suck to have an idiot as a GM. But stop eating those sour grapes, its not a good look. lmao.

  22. QJ1984 says: Jun 16, 2010 1:10 PM

    @ryno_blah
    They are NOT under contract. The tender is the contract and they have refused to sign it. The club still owns their rights but they are not under any obligation to show up and the Chargers cant fine them for not doing so.
    They cant play football for anyone else but they dont have to suit up for the Chargers.

  23. covercorner7 says: Jun 16, 2010 2:14 PM

    Philip Rivers must be pissed his blind side protector and his best WR are out due to the Chargers cheapness & unfairness.

  24. Jagerbolt says: Jun 16, 2010 2:20 PM

    For those who think this will cause AJ to blink, guess again. This is the man who STILL holds a grudge against Eli Manning for snubbing the Chargers.
    I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s now looking at LT and WR for next year’s draft.

  25. Cambodian Breast Milk says: Jun 16, 2010 3:29 PM

    Awesome. Lets not pay Rivers protection and his top target (aside from Gates). There goes 2 Keepers in my Fantasy League.

  26. GOVIKES|GOVIKES says: Jun 16, 2010 4:40 PM

    LOL, Love the title Ggregg, fire the quad laser!

  27. Mark0226 says: Jun 16, 2010 5:18 PM

    First, this no paragraph this is really stupid. The comments are much more difficult to read. Second, can do the Chargers have an obligation to allow these two to return in week 10 or can the Chargers force them to sit out the entire year? I know they have no requirement to put them on the active roster even if they do show up. Maybe put them on IR or non-football injury (to their ego) list.

  28. Neoplatonist Bolthead says: Jun 16, 2010 7:03 PM

    @Mark0226: they have to pay them or let them go; the comp picks they’d get for them are worth more than the money, so they’d pay them even if they didn’t activate them.
    Merriman isn’t really holding out yet. He has until training camp before it means anything. For now, he’s just got a pass to get out of mandatory activities. The Chargers can’t complain; they get him for cheap because the rules screw him, but these stupid rules do leave him this one freedom.
    McNeill is a little harder to gauge. There could be a real standoff brewing, but I suspect the Bolts will just work out a long-term deal sometime after they handle Gates, which has to wait until they know the truth about Gates’s foot, which won’t happen until training camp. I wouldn’t be surprised to see McNeill starting at Kansas City on Week One. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them offer contracts constructed pretty carefully to take the CBA situation into account.
    Jackson will either come back for something in between the $530k they are obligated to offer him and the $3.17M they would have had to pay him last week, or will be done in the NFL. He’s a fool for holding out. Stupid stupid stupid. He has zero leverage.

  29. Lance19 says: Jun 17, 2010 3:07 PM

    As a longtime follower of AJ,
    I can tell you this was downright sweet
    by his standards. Over 80% of Charger fans
    think the PLAYERS are at fault here, yet
    AJ acknowledged their talent and the difficulty
    of being a top team without them. Chargers
    have the 3rd winningest record in Smith’s
    time in San Diego…just remember that when
    you gripe that he’s not warm and fuzzy enough
    for you. The AJ way WORKS.

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