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A.J. Smith comments on Marcus McNeill's return

The Chargers have confirmed that left tackle Marcus McNeill signed his one-year, $630,000 contract tender. Chargers A.J. Smith essentially “won” the staredown, although he lost his starting left tackle for the first five games of the season. 

By signing his tender on Saturday, McNeill was able to travel with the team to Seattle.  He will collect $440,000, a prorated version of his one-year tender. McNeill passed on signing a $3.2 million tender earlier in the offseason.

“We’re all
very happy that Marcus has decided to sign his tender and go back to work,” said Smith.  “He has missed some time on the job, but we
will be patient, get him up to speed and Coach [Norv Turner] will decide how
quickly he gets on the field.”

We wouldn’t be surprised to see a long-term deal worked out at some point, but the way the entire absence was handled wound up being a lose-lose for all parties.

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49 Responses to “A.J. Smith comments on Marcus McNeill's return”
  1. BigBear123 says: Sep 25, 2010 3:52 PM

    Imagine they will try to get him in a long term deal in the next three weeks, if they don’t you have to wonder if he will even want to return.
    Logic says they would try to lock him up and get him some compensation to make up for the lowered salary, but AJ Smith and logic don’t go together well.

  2. BoltsFan says: Sep 25, 2010 3:55 PM

    Rosenthal, don’t suddenly become Florio’s sycophant. It wasn’t a lose-lose the way you guys would like to spin it. It was a complete, total annihilation of the player’s strategy and his agents’ incompetence.
    A.J. won outright, and slapped the player down HARD. No way to spin this, and other players who watched this lesson unfold had better have been paying CLOSE attention.

  3. rbais2 says: Sep 25, 2010 3:58 PM

    A.J. Smith, you’re a waste of sperm and deserve all the bad luck in the world!!!!
    I will root against you until you convince me not to!!!

  4. lawdjayee says: Sep 25, 2010 4:01 PM

    “way the entire absence was handled wound up being a lose-lose for all parties.”
    Really? Dombrowski and the o-line have done just fine in the first couple of games. Any agent that thinks they can gank AJ has yet another reason not to try it. McNeill will play this year for LESS than he played last year. And the team gets him back, gaining depth on their line. How, exactly, did Smith lose? Why, objectively speaking, does it matter that Smith gave agents yet another reason to dislike him? You and Florio seem to think that because you guys disapprove of something, it’s bad for the league or a team or GM, etc. etc. But your opinions don’t actually matter! If there are agents out there saying they will never negotiate with Smith, and they actually mean it, or players saying they’d never sign as a free agent, say that. If not, have a good reason for making your points, rather than “I feel that.”

  5. doe22us says: Sep 25, 2010 4:05 PM

    if he is willign to sign the reduced tender, chances are that there is a long term deal in sight. If not which i doubt it was one costly holdout….

  6. razic says: Sep 25, 2010 4:13 PM

    prove that it’s been lose-lose for the chargers. how many times has rivers been sacked so far this season? and how many of those sacks can be attributed to problems at left tackle?

  7. SpartaChris says: Sep 25, 2010 4:15 PM

    What an idiot McNeil is. Coulda had millions THIS season but instead is settling for thousands. Friggin retard.

  8. razic says: Sep 25, 2010 4:22 PM

    @lawdjayee There will never be a situation where agents won’t negotiate with AJ Smith. If they have a player who gets drafted by the Chargers, they have to deal with him. And not dealing with him just means they don’t get paid (both player and agent). And we’ll see how long that lasts.

  9. CaptainMarvel says: Sep 25, 2010 4:43 PM

    If AJ Smith continues to operate like this, believe me he will lose a lot of players.

  10. stan26 says: Sep 25, 2010 4:56 PM

    How can it not be a win for the Chargers?
    McNeil will be playing. All his holdout did was cost McNeil millions. Chargers lost nothing?

  11. Peyton says: Sep 25, 2010 4:58 PM

    I think that McNeil and the team probably already have a deal worked out, and that the reason it is being done this way is AJ Smith insisted that it look like a win for him in order to do the deal. If I am wrong, it meanst that McNeil is the dumbest person in the history of the world.
    Regardless, it’s not a loss for AJ Smith in any regards. It would only be a loss for him if he cared about winning a Super Bowl, and he clearly doesn’t.

  12. rjgreen3 says: Sep 25, 2010 4:58 PM

    @ razic
    check your history……. see eli manning

  13. Jagerbolt says: Sep 25, 2010 5:04 PM

    Yeah, agree with the others. This was a lose for only MM and his agent. Only thing AJ had to deal with was negative publicity, and that is nothing new, nor does he give a damn what anyone thinks.
    Dombrowski has been a great replacement. I don’t think anybody expected him to do this good (including myself.) Not bad for an undrafted free agent huh? But wait – I thought AJ Smith is a horrible GM from people on here? I’m so confused.

  14. JoeMcRugby says: Sep 25, 2010 5:28 PM

    Did McNeill fire his agent (Kiels) yet?
    He’s done almost as bad of a job as Schwartz and Feinsod – but not quite as bad as the twosome who should be sued by VJ for malpractice (on the assumption that both Schwartz and Feinsod are attorneys).

  15. MarylandChief says: Sep 25, 2010 5:32 PM

    He won the battle (set a precedent for the locker room, got a good contract if Mcneil actually shows up and tries rather than mail it in) but he may have lost the war. Good luck getting free agents to look at SD moving forward. “they don’t call him the lord of no rings for no reason.”– even you Charger fans have to admit that line is funny as heck.

  16. Mrsteve says: Sep 25, 2010 5:38 PM

    who in their right mind would want to play for the chargers

  17. pacstud says: Sep 25, 2010 5:42 PM

    If this is a loss for AJ…
    Nice loss AJ!

  18. Ick McWang says: Sep 25, 2010 5:46 PM

    A long term deal has to happen this year or I am sure he will walk. I mean, the team slapped nearly 3 million right out of his hands, and if I am him I wouldn’t sign with them out of principle unless the money talks very loudly

  19. Jagerbolt says: Sep 25, 2010 6:02 PM

    AJ has used the same tactics before – he did it to Gates back in 05. Hasn’t stopped free agents then and it won’t now. And Gates was rewarded earlier this year with (at the time) the highest TE contract in the league before Vernon Davis got his new contract.
    He sends a clear message – play out your contract, prove on the field that you are worth it and you shall be taken care of.

  20. Wizahdry says: Sep 25, 2010 6:19 PM

    Wow still has to play over 3/4 of a season and take those beatings for 400k. Is Dana White running the Chargers thats like some UFC type crap pay. He should at least get a possible fight of the night bonus.

  21. packmanncsu says: Sep 25, 2010 6:23 PM

    AJ Smith could care less if free agents decide not to come to San Diego. When was the last time he or the Chargers made a splash on the FA market? Exactly. They build through the draft and through lesser deals such as mid-level FA’s and Undrafted FA’s. This was a clear win on his part, but I agree with those that think a long term deal for McNeill has to be on the horizon for him to sign his tender this early in the season. Also, he may lose a few players because of this, but players who want to stay in SD and play for the Chargers now have no excuses when saying they don’t know how he operates. Just look at Gates and hopefully McNeill. Sign your tender, come to work, play hard, and you will be rewarded with the long term deal that both parties agree is acceptable, instead of getting busted for a DUI the morning of a playoff game, acting flippant and like a fool during said playoff game, and sitting at home trying to back the team into a corner.

  22. Lance19 says: Sep 25, 2010 6:32 PM

    I’m guessing the “lose-lose” nonsense was
    added by Vincent Jackson’s dopey agents?
    AJ can’t win (even win he obviously does)
    Fortunately when the rosters you put together
    win 70% of the time, you really don’t have to
    care what many people think.

  23. C says: Sep 25, 2010 6:39 PM

    “who in their right mind would want to play for the chargers ”
    Well, to keep it short, lot of players would. Easily top 5 team to play for.

  24. MarylandChief says: Sep 25, 2010 6:47 PM

    Lord of no rings.
    Sorry, just can’t help myself. That’s hysterical.

  25. Cake Or Death says: Sep 25, 2010 7:28 PM

    Call me crazy, but at this point McNeill should either move to RT or be backup because Dombrowski is killing out there.

  26. Mrsteve says: Sep 25, 2010 7:41 PM

    who are the top free agents?

  27. JimHa says: Sep 25, 2010 7:54 PM

    Marcus will get a just rewarded contract because he will play hard for them and make a difference. There is a knuckle head radio announce r in San Diego named Lee Hacksaw Hamilton that was criticiszing the chargers for having the eith lowest payroll in the league, and that they were cheating the fans. Well when you trade Cromartie, release LT, dont have VJ or Marcus, release Jamaal Williams, and replace them with draft picks or younger players what do you bleeping expect. They don’t sign overpaid free agents thank god. Yet their stars: Rivers,gates, sproles, dielman, jammer, castillo, and merriman are paid pretty well. they even rewarded undrafted agfents like Tucker and steve gregory wh0o busted their ass to make the team. They are not the stingy team that everybody makes them out to be. go bolts

  28. JimmyY says: Sep 25, 2010 8:15 PM

    razic=Dumb ass. Look it up numb nuts, how many times has Rivers been sacked in two games vs. how many when Mcneill was starting. The left tackle has been playing GREAT, look it up dummy.

  29. BoltsFan says: Sep 25, 2010 8:16 PM

    @MarylandChief, it’s really not that funny. He hasn’t won any rings yet, but he’s headed in the right direction. Which team is YOUR team, again?
    @Ick McWang, the team didn’t slap any money out of McNeil’s hand. They offered it, and he slapped it out of theirs by refusing to take it. Guess he forgot the Golden Rule…he who has the gold, makes the rules. God, that just makes the egalitarians in here writhe.

  30. JimmyY says: Sep 25, 2010 8:16 PM

    razic=Dumb ass. Look it up numb nuts, how many times has Rivers been sacked in two games vs. how many when Mcneill was starting. The left tackle has been playing GREAT, look it up dummy. Oh you can apply that stupid Lord of No Rings to like 90% of the NFL GM’s, like say, Dallas, Chicago, Philly, Jets, Dolphins, etc. Another Dumb ass agent who doesn’t know his ass from a whole in the ground.

  31. BoltsFan says: Sep 25, 2010 8:26 PM

    @MarylandChief, it’s really not that funny. He hasn’t won any rings yet, but he’s headed in the right direction. Which team is YOUR team, again?
    @Ick McWang, the team didn’t slap any money out of McNeil’s hand. They offered it, and he slapped it out of theirs by refusing to take it. Guess he forgot the Golden Rule…he who has the gold, makes the rules. God, that just makes the egalitarians in here writhe.

  32. ravens2101 says: Sep 25, 2010 8:37 PM

    looks like a.js penis is bigger than both mcneil and jacksons.

  33. george says: Sep 25, 2010 8:49 PM

    The reason MM signed his tender could be a pending trade. Adam Shefter hinted at a Buffalo
    trade last week.

  34. nfl says: Sep 25, 2010 8:56 PM

    Lose, lose for all parties? Really Rosenthal?
    Sad day indeed for Florio and Rosenthal.
    Welcome back MM!

  35. johnthorpe says: Sep 25, 2010 8:56 PM

    It’s a “lose” for Smith because he lost his starting LT for 5 games — almost 1/3 of the season — and managed to alienate about 500 potential Chargers.
    The Lord of No Rings strikes again!

  36. winslow says: Sep 25, 2010 8:57 PM

    Prior to declaring Smith the victor, let’s see how much it costs San Diego to replace McNeill when he leaves via free agency. The Chargers excel at winning the battles and losing the wars.

  37. Thewatcher says: Sep 25, 2010 9:18 PM


  38. JimMarshallHOF says: Sep 25, 2010 10:15 PM

    just wondering if he’ll take a matador cape to work

  39. realitypolice says: Sep 25, 2010 10:30 PM

    Will he be forced to pass the Albert Haynesworth Memorial Conditioning Test?

  40. Dont Taze Me Bro says: Sep 25, 2010 10:46 PM

    Didn’t the chargers lose to the Chiefs? I’d say that makes it a lose lose situation. Oh, but let me guess Bolts fans, missing McNeil and Vincent Jackson had nothing to do with that loss.
    Unless this is step one of a huge contract extension, McNeil is a fool for signing that contract.
    There’s being smart with your money and there’s being cheap. The Steelers are smart with their money. They are tough negotiators but they do pay the key players and have the rings to show for it.
    The Chargers are cheap and have won nothing except the make believe monopoly game in Smith’s head.
    Bully to you Uncle Pennybags!! You’ve done it again sir.

  41. Buck Stallion says: Sep 25, 2010 11:03 PM

    Boltsfan is 100% correct. I don’t even like A.J. Smith…perhaps no one does. But he won this one.

  42. kmartinson says: Sep 25, 2010 11:11 PM

    SD is turning into Buffalo…no one wants to go there. Too bad, the weather is awesome but AJ is pissing all there players off. .

  43. LightningLucci says: Sep 25, 2010 11:20 PM

    Some…as mentioned on the other comments thread…suggest that MM should at least get the full 3+ million. This would be a bad idea.
    The Chargers made that offer basically on the condition that MM comes to training camp and stay in shape. They reduced the offer basically because he didn’t come to camp.
    If you the player knew that they were going to eventually cave and give you the full amount, you would just hold out and show up for the first game, wouldn’t you?
    Future RFA’s know that AJ will stick to his guns. You know what? THESE guys should have known that already, since AJ has proven so in the past.

  44. Blackn'Gold says: Sep 26, 2010 12:14 AM

    Perhaps Marcus McNeil decided to cut his losses and report? Now he can audition for the next team that will pay him what he’s worth.

  45. CanadianBillsFan says: Sep 26, 2010 12:59 AM

    Hey AJ, you’d better be happy to see him be back, because unless you franchise tag him, it’s his last year in San Diego!

  46. CanadianBillsFan says: Sep 26, 2010 1:02 AM

    Oh and everyone claiming that the Chargers are coming out winners in this are short sighted MORONS. This will be McNeill’s last year in San Diego and you can blame AJ Smith for that!
    What kind of player actually wants to return for a team after being treated like this? None. Both McNeill and Jackson will never play another down for the Chargers after this season is done, you can bet the house on that!

  47. MH767 says: Sep 26, 2010 1:34 AM

    I am sick of hearing these statements related to McNeill and Jackson that somehow the Chargers and AJ Smith are responsible for these guys not showing up. AJ Smith didn’t “lose” his starting left tackle. Marcus McNeill decided not to sign his tender and refused to show up. His fault.

  48. Mark0226 says: Sep 26, 2010 3:18 AM

    Contrary to popular belief, free agents in San Diego DO get paid. In case you missed it, the Chargers signed Antonio Gates to a 5 year extension to make him the highest paid TE in the NFL. Gates accomplished this without holding out. They signed Philip Rivers to a $92 million dollar extension.

  49. jcdavey says: Sep 26, 2010 7:55 AM

    you’ll just confuse these morons with facts like that, Marko

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