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A.J. Smith is baffled that Eric Weddle’s agent is baffled

Stephen Cooper, Eric Weddle AP

Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith has a way of dealing with potentially unhappy players; he likes to turn their words (or their agents’ words) against them.

For example, former San Diego tailback LaDainian Tomlinson posted on his personal website two years ago a message regarding his desire to stay with the team.  Smith later mocked the statement by offering nearly identical comments regarding his own desire to remain employed by the organization.

In 2011, L.T. is long gone and safety Eric Weddle could soon be leaving, too, as a free agent.  Agent David Canter recently said that he’s “absolutely baffled” by the team’s failure to engage in talks on a long-term deal.

“All I can say is I’m baffled [that] he’s baffled regarding our position at this point in time,” Smith said, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Smith also addressed the team’s position on Weddle, a four-year veteran who technically is a restricted free agent but who will become unrestricted if the threshold drops from six in the next labor deal.

“First, we don’t know Eric’s status yet,” Smith said. “Second, if he should become [an unrestricted] free agent, I would hope by now everyone understands how we operate around here.”

He’s referring, Acee believes, to the notion that the Chargers keep who they want to keep, and they let walk those whom they don’t want to keep.

It sounds like they want to keep Weddle.  On their terms.

“Eric is a great kid and an outstanding player,” Smith said.  “He is exactly the type of player we want to be a part of the Chargers organization. If we should offer a contract, we would present a contract to his agent, David Canter, both in years and money.  Our hope then would obviously be he likes it and accepts.  If not, as Eric said, he will be moving on in a heartbeat, as will we.”

Smith also explained that the team has had conversations with Canter regarding Weddle.  But it sounds like the conversations have consisted of something like this:  “Once we know whether he’ll be an unrestricted free agent, we’ll make an offer.  And he can take it and stay.  Or he can leave it and leave.”

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50 Responses to “A.J. Smith is baffled that Eric Weddle’s agent is baffled”
  1. mvpolamalu says: Mar 5, 2011 8:24 PM

    If aj smith wasn’t such a jerk, the chargers would have gotten eli manning instead of philip rivers. Maybe jerks do luck out

  2. hooterdawg says: Mar 5, 2011 8:32 PM

    Sooner or later, Spanos will tire of A.J.’s tough guy antics. By now, I can’t imagine too many FAs want to come play in the Chargers zoo. The team has a lot of talent, but hasn’t shown much heart. There is evidence that the lockerroom doesn’t repect the FO because the FO doesn’t respect them.

  3. readypower says: Mar 5, 2011 8:33 PM

    Chargers will never win a Superbowl with AJ Smith “leading” them.

  4. Kave Krew says: Mar 5, 2011 8:41 PM

    San Diego – where football dies in January………

  5. romoscollarbone says: Mar 5, 2011 8:41 PM

    Weedle should baffle himself right down to Dallas, we need a guy in the secondary, that can make plays.

  6. jw731 says: Mar 5, 2011 8:41 PM

    I’m aslo baffled…..at the fact that AJ Smith’s San Diego Chargers team are one of the most underacheiving choke artists in recent playoff history……Hell, you have one of the best QB’s in the game, had the stud running back for years, had a complelty juiced MLB who tore up the league, and yet AJ….you have nothing to show for it….Is that how you operate around there? It means one thing AJ, you don’t know how to operate….

  7. saberstud75 says: Mar 5, 2011 8:45 PM

    A.J. Smith is also baffled about why people call him “Lord of the Ringless.”

  8. leafsweet says: Mar 5, 2011 8:48 PM

    Welcome to Detroit Eric.

  9. artvandelaya says: Mar 5, 2011 8:50 PM

    OK, FINE, i’ve resisted registering and posting on this site for a very long time but ENOUGH already A.J. Smith! So some jocks took his lunch money when he was little. Doesn’t mean he has to take the hard left turn onto douche boulevard, head to the middle of douche town and run for mayor. Enough already! Him and marty hurney…if the phone doesn’t ring, it’ll be me!

  10. 504in860 says: Mar 5, 2011 8:50 PM

    “AJ Smith is a flaming a$$.”

    -Marty Schottenheimer

  11. sterilizecromartie says: Mar 5, 2011 8:58 PM

    “I would hope by now everyone understands how we operate around here.”
    ————–
    Oh we all know how you operate. You start by putting together teams that suck in the beginning of the year and choke at the end of the year… then you don’t reward your current players (outside of Rivers) who are performing at high levels… then you leave your stud QB to rely on guys named Naaaaaneeee and Ajirawhamu… and you will ultimately end by losing your job because your tough guy attitude will be such a turn off that nobody will want to come play for you.

  12. go619chargers says: Mar 5, 2011 9:02 PM

    Damn I hate A.J! I Love my Chargers and forever will be but he is a real d*ck in handling players. Weddle was a beast last season for an undersized slower safety and one of the reasons that the defense was so good! He has heart and a great will to win!

  13. riverhorsey says: Mar 5, 2011 9:03 PM

    Chargers would of won a Super Bowl or two by now if the had kept Marty and dumped AJ.

  14. rezen73 says: Mar 5, 2011 9:04 PM

    They like him, but not enough to offer him a long term deal regardless of whether he’s restricted or not.

    I’d be pissed if my employer fed me that nonsense… “you do a good job, and we’ll make you somewhat decent offer only if it turns out you can freely leave the company and go work elsewhere. Otherwise we’ll squat on you on the cheap”

    Too bad for Chargers’ fans, AJ Smith is running off all the talent.

  15. scytherius says: Mar 5, 2011 9:22 PM

    A. J. Smith … one of many proving that wealth and intelligence most assuredly do not go hand in hand.

    Sadly, another whiny billionaire will keep his team from ever winning a Super Bowl.

  16. FoozieGrooler says: Mar 5, 2011 9:26 PM

    “A.J. Smith … likes to turn their words (or their agents’ words) against them.”

    So IOW, he’s incapable of forming an original thought.

  17. citizenstrange says: Mar 5, 2011 9:27 PM

    And sip the Cris’ and get pissy-pissy/Jay-Zed

  18. qj1984 says: Mar 5, 2011 9:29 PM

    Smith is proving to be one of the biggest jackasses in the NFL. Move over Sexy Rexy…

  19. southridge23 says: Mar 5, 2011 9:33 PM

    What “baffles” me is how this team is able to stay competitive each yr amidst this idiot GM.

    I think he was the kid that was picked on all throughout grade school and now has vowed to attempt to make an ass out of every person who questions him

  20. bucks12965 says: Mar 5, 2011 9:58 PM

    Hey scytherius, A. J. Smith is the G.M….not the owner.

    I’m pretty sure he gets a good paycheck, but not enough to make him a billionaire.

  21. micker716 says: Mar 5, 2011 10:08 PM

    Haters, read the entire SD Trib article. Not just the quote cherry-picked by PFT. Smith has become a great target because he doesn’t suck up to the media and doesn’t play the PR game. He’s as honest as a GM is capable of being. Would you rather have a telegenic Matt Millen blowing smoke up your ass? Bottom line: The Chargers sucked before he got there, they have been winners since he arrived.

  22. suite34 says: Mar 5, 2011 10:13 PM

    mvpolamalu says:
    Mar 5, 2011 8:24 PM
    If aj smith wasn’t such a jerk, the chargers would have gotten eli manning instead of philip rivers. Maybe jerks do luck out

    Last I checked, it’s Eli Manning 1, Philip Rivers 0 in Super Bowl rings. Stats are nice, but it’s rings that count.

  23. weswelkerspornstash says: Mar 5, 2011 10:33 PM

    San Diego the next Buffalo. AJ Smith might be the arrogant gm in the league. He is going to ruin the chargers.

  24. Keyser Söze says: Mar 5, 2011 10:34 PM

    AJ played hardball with Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNiell – playmakers each one. Weddle got schooled each and every week by receivers and runningbacks to include getting knocked out at the goal line by McFadden and drug across the goal line by Bush of the Raiders. No Eric!! We got Bob Sanders now. He might get hurt, but at least he makes plays…

  25. alkscout says: Mar 5, 2011 10:38 PM

    No compensation for Drew Brees because of Smith’s attitude. Going to get no compensation for Vincent Jackson because of his attitude. Tomlinson leaves on bad terms because of his attitude. Players don’t want to come there because of his attitude.

    I don’t care how many times this jackass has lucked into good places, AJ Smith is a clown.

    I hope Weddle makes it to free agency and burns his ass.

  26. lanzurrah says: Mar 6, 2011 12:26 AM

    If AJ wasn’t as good as he is at evaluating NFL talent, he wouldn’t have a job. Hate the guy all you want….he graded out as one of the best drafting GMs in the league.

  27. jcdurden88 says: Mar 6, 2011 1:03 AM

    OMG!! here we go again aj smith! with you in the office we won’t win sh&&$&%t!!!

  28. goldsteel says: Mar 6, 2011 1:03 AM

    A.J. Smith has a singular wit.

  29. philriverslovespenis says: Mar 6, 2011 1:59 AM

    I just wanted to leave a comment to show my user name, and thus how I feel about the Chargers. Good day to all.

  30. patpatriotagain says: Mar 6, 2011 2:45 AM

    A.J. has compromising pictures of Alex Spanos.

  31. stanklepoot says: Mar 6, 2011 4:45 AM

    Ok, I’m not all that familiar with the Chargers front office people. All I know is what I’ve read about things they’ve done. From what I have read, however, it seems like A.J. Smith has gone out of his way to mock LT for saying he wanted to stay in San Diego…the same LT who helped bring the Chargers back to relevance after the Ryan Leaf years. I don’t fault him for cutting ties with LT when he did, but you don’t go out of your way to publicly insult someone who meant that much to your franchise and the fans. Then, there was the Vincent Jackson debacle. Yes, Jackson could have handled his end better, but had AJ simply offered Jackson the original tender offer again right before the season started, the Chargers wouldn’t have had to wait until week 10 for Jackson’s services. Jackson may not have been happy, but he would have played. It was the dramatic reduction in the tender offer that made the risk of injury outweigh the loss of salary. Now, he’s mocking one of the guys that helped keep the locker room together after the team dumped LT and Cromartie, and pushed Jackson to the point that he sat at home for the better part of the season. So, not knowing the guy as well as some of the Chargers fans around here, I have a question to ask: Is this guy just an a-hole? The Chargers’ front office is great at finding talent normally, but they also seem to go out of their way to drive a number of the players they develop out of town for no apparent reason.

  32. jcdavey2011 says: Mar 6, 2011 7:27 AM

    some of you people are so damn stupid

    “they’ll never win a superbowl with AJ leading them”

    really? they’ve never won a superbowl before AJ either lol

    and invoking the name of a playoff cancer like marty? really? in relations to winning superbowls? HAHA

    oh and , the chargers front office doesn’t take care of their players? really??

    ask all the players who got long term contracts with them, like phillips, rivers, castillo , dielman, gates…even LT at one time did.

    oh and as for free agents, sanders liked the front office enough to just sign on with sd, even though he appears to be a broken mess, guys like him and kevin burnett are the types of free agents sd targets, low risk high reward guys, not the albert “take the money and mope” haynesworth losers of the free agent world.

    you’re welcome, you’re now a bit smarter

  33. billsfan1 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:09 AM

    He was john butlers right hand man here in buffalo before moving on to S.D. he sure as Hell didn’t learn butlers way of dealing with players……I’ve never liked how he has treated ur players s.d. fans

  34. vickadelphiaphreedom says: Mar 6, 2011 9:23 AM

    I’m baffled that this is a “story”.

  35. tinbender2000 says: Mar 6, 2011 10:36 AM

    The players know A.J.’s a dirtbag, so do the fans. Why is this agent baffeled, has he been living under a rock?

  36. MTLighthouse69 says: Mar 6, 2011 10:50 AM

    AJ Smith was straight forward with his comments, I don’t see why that is such a big deal to people. I understand we all pretty much live in a world of “spin”, it is refreshing to actually here candid comments for a change.

    I would think that agents would learn from last season and the Vincent Jackson situation. Football is a business, it isn’t about personal feelings.

    No team in its right mind is going to start offering long term contracts without knowing what the next CBA is.

  37. jagerbolt says: Mar 6, 2011 11:06 AM

    All the AJ haters come running out of the woodwork!

    AJ may be a douche but he was pretty clear, they need to find out if Weddle is a RFA or UFA with the new CBA. Nothing happening until then. And he said he told the agent that!

    I guess Weddle’s agent didn’t pay attention last year with VJ’s agent using rhetoric thru the media. It accomplished the opposite of what he wants.

    And all of you saying how he drives away free agents, I guess Bob Sanders doesn’t count recently eh?

    Yeah he’ll get hurt in preseason/game 1, blah blah, doesn’t matter. When healthy he’s elite and he didn’t waste much time signing.

  38. sonvar says: Mar 6, 2011 11:12 AM

    While I understand Smith’s point about we don’t know the status of whether Weddle is an UFA or a RFA he’s a real jerk explaining it. Smith would have been better bluntly saying that we don’t plan on keeping the player if he’s an UFA. Instead he says in a round about way that makes him seem like a very bitter person. All I can say from that is I would be pissed if this was the GM running my team and that the Chargers won’t be much beyond being an 8-8 team with what he has setup

  39. CKL says: Mar 6, 2011 11:43 AM

    Canter & Smith…two unprofessional jerks who richly deserve each others’ company.
    Nothing is wrong with playing hardball…but some of the personal shots Smith has taken at players in the press are unnecessary. I loathe LaComplainian Tomlinson but Smith should have been the bigger man and not acted a fool in the press with him and other guys. I hold front office types to a higher standard when it comes to smacktalk.
    Spanos seems like a good dude and he probably understands that Smith is a good judge of talent so he puts up with a certain level of crap from him (as all bosses do with talented employees)but I can’t see him putting up with the guy running good people out of town with his little public piss fights much longer. If you make Marty Schottenheimer THAT mad you are a pretty rancid dude.

  40. trollaikman8 says: Mar 6, 2011 12:15 PM

    If he keeps this up, AJ Smith is going to ruin the Chargers window of opportunity.

    /s

  41. backindasaddle says: Mar 6, 2011 1:31 PM

    Sounds like the agent wants to have his ego rubbed and massaged and petted. Smith is just cold businessman and isn’t interested. He probably hates agents as much as I do. LOL…I love it.

  42. stanklepoot says: Mar 6, 2011 1:48 PM

    @jagerbolt,
    you don’t have to support the GM unconditionally to support the team. I didn’t read too many comments talking about the Chargers not paying any of their players. The problem is that AJ seems to go out of his way to start problems with players, when as a personnel guy he should be trying to prevent them. Mocking LT when he said he wanted to stay in San Diego? What’s the point of something like that? Now his comments about the Weddle situation? You can say it’s aimed at the agent all you want, but it also serves as an insult to Weddle. We all like honesty, but AJ goes beyond blunt to the point where he publicly reinforces the idea that players don’t need to be loyal to the organization because the organization won’t be loyal to them when the shoe is on the other foot. As for Sanders, yes, when healthy he is an elite player, and it’s possible he’ll actually be healthy this year. The point is that he hasn’t been healthy in quite a while, so his options are rather limited. What other competitive teams were seriously looking to sign Sanders? The Sanders signing certainly doesn’t show that free agents are eager to go to SD. There are two kinds of free agents: free agents with a lot of options, and free agents with limited options. Right now, Sanders is the latter, and I don’t see many of the former lining up to play for the Chargers. Oh, and as for Vincent Jackson, he may not have gotten the long term deal he wanted, but the Chargers are going to be paying him quite a bit of money (all of it guaranteed) this coming season. Probably would have gotten out of it cheaper had they worked on a multi-year deal with him.

  43. jcdavey2011 says: Mar 6, 2011 2:40 PM

    saying free agents don’t want to go to san diego is like saying free agents don’t want to go to indy NE or pitt

    the philosophy of those teams is to not seek out alot of free agents, and when they do it’s low risk guys, none of these money sucking fools who get their cash then dissapear

    teams like ne pitt indy and sd have enough problems signing their own developed guys who sometimes dissapear after their payday, or losing developed talent , they don’t have time to worry about getting in moronic bidding wars for the albert haynesworth’s of the world

    pats learned themselves a lesson with the adalius thomas signing

  44. mvpolamalu says: Mar 6, 2011 3:08 PM

    Suite34, manning had one average season that got him the ring. Rivers has had to delta with his tight end always hurt, his best receiver holding out, a questionable defense, and aj smith. Manning would not have won the ring in San Diego

  45. rushmatic says: Mar 6, 2011 3:34 PM

    mvpolamalu says:
    If aj smith wasn’t such a jerk, the chargers would have gotten eli manning instead of philip rivers. Maybe jerks do luck out

    __________________

    Even though Smith is an idiot, they dodged the Eli Manning bullet. Jerks do luck out!

  46. ontboltfan says: Mar 6, 2011 4:07 PM

    This ‘mocking’ over LT’s renegotiation was misconstrued. Interesting all LT’s open criticsm towards everyone in the organization well before this received less attention. LT had also just turned in another 3.5 ypc season in 2008 yet was renegotiated to be paid over $5M for 2009.

    Jackson’s agent demanded a long term deal. VJ really only produced in 2009 so the right approach was to see if he could play another high level year. Following the CBA rules (which he and his agent knew), SD awarded the highest possible tender and he would have made $3+M if he had signed it. He didn’t and refused to report hence his tender was reduced.

    McNeil’s stupid agent demanded the same, but he was a 2 time probowler and reported earlier and received a long term deal. Merriman also demanded a long term deal after missing most of 2 yrs. He also called out mgmt several times in the media. He then signed his tender (highest) took $3M and promptly reinjured himself in the 1st game. He was put on IR and later released.

    This is more than most GM’s have had to deal w in the last 2 years. As in the article, w Weddle the main issue is noone knows the status yet of these free agents. Just some grandstanding by agents which is hardly baffling.

  47. dickv says: Mar 6, 2011 4:26 PM

    rushmatic says:
    Mar 6, 2011 3:34 PM
    mvpolamalu says:
    If aj smith wasn’t such a jerk, the chargers would have gotten eli manning instead of philip rivers. Maybe jerks do luck out

    __________________

    Even though Smith is an idiot, they dodged the Eli Manning bullet. Jerks do luck out!

    _____________________________

    They (Chargers FO / Aj) dodged the Eli Manning Bullet, but willingly shot themselves in the foot by firing Marty and letting Drew Brees go in Free agaency.

    Bad mouthing an ICON like LT is baffling. Being cheap with a franchise Left tackle is baffling. I agree with the handling of VJ… he can be replaced, but it is a black eye for the organization to always have contract disputes with your players.

    Now here AJ is again going out of his way to sour relationships with another position. AJ can sure identify talent, but he he sure does not understand how to get a long with people. He takes business too personal.

  48. dickv says: Mar 6, 2011 4:33 PM

    Charger fans Marty & LT brought a new attitude to the Chargers along with AJ. They owned the division for some time, but clearly after last year we see that the Raiders and the Cheifs will fight for the AFC west going forward. The Chargers will waste away with that mediocre hc/ Aj’s offensive coordinator/ puppet/ Norvel Turner leading the team.

    AJ acts like he has wins to back up his arrogance. He has never won everything. Being a Raider fan I get mad that Al Davis can’t get out of his own way to get back to winnning, but watching AJ constantly shooting himself in the foot makes me laugh because it is clear they will never win anything with that a hole running the show.

  49. ktgooch says: Mar 6, 2011 6:06 PM

    AJ doesn’t negotiate through the media, wether its a player or agent. Look at the guys he got deals done with- Rivers, Gates Hardwick they kept talks private. even McNeil got a deal after he stopped letting his agent rant. Its his way of doing deals. As a boltz fan I dont always like it. But LT was here a yr too long anyway, crow was a dud (our d got better) and merriman was equally flawed. Sometimes his values come off arrogant, but its how he opperates. I’ll take the last 5 years over anything the Raiders, Chiefs or Broncos had.

  50. dukemarc says: Mar 7, 2011 10:02 AM

    Keyser Söze says: Mar 5, 2011 10:34 PM

    AJ played hardball with Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNiell – playmakers each one. Weddle got schooled each and every week by receivers and runningbacks to include getting knocked out at the goal line by McFadden and drug across the goal line by Bush of the Raiders. No Eric!! We got Bob Sanders now. He might get hurt, but at least he makes plays…

    —————————————–

    Yes, the 2 games Bob will play for the Chargers next, he will make plays. It’s the other 14 games with a scrub backup safety that you have to worry about.

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