Blog Entry

Chargers should pay V-Jackson; not McNeill

Posted on: August 10, 2010 2:30 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 6:01 pm
Posted by Josh Katzowitz

An interesting study by Pro Football Focus to determine, once and for all, if the Chargers should pay WR Vincent Jackson and LT Marcus McNeill what they’re demanding or if they should let them sit out most of the season and not let them collect their paychecks.

According to PFF, Jackson ranks as the fourth-best WR of 2009. But it’s more than that. He makes life easier for No. 2 WR Malcom Floyd, and without Jackson in the lineup to take away the pressure of the opponent’s No. 1 CB, it’s a legitimate question of whether Floyd will be as effective if he’s the No. 1 target of that team’s secondary.

And then, even if Floyd is OK as the No. 1 WR, it’s the domino effect. Can a player like Legedu Naanee be helped by Floyd in the same way Floyd was helped by Jackson? Either way, the consensus here is that the Chargers should pay Jackson, even though he’s facing a three-game suspension.

The same cannot be said for McNeill. Although McNeill is a Pro Bowler, PFF writes he’s not a good run-blocker and, actually, he’s not a great pass-protector either. Plus, the LT position as a whole might be more undervalued this year, because the Super Bowl champion Saints feature a LT in Jermon Bushrod who’s not exactly spectacular.

More from PFF:

What’s more, (McNeill) has struggled against the top pass-rushers. Dallas’ dynamic duo of DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer had four pressures from 34 pass plays despite McNeill getting tight end help on a third of those plays. And if he opts to play rather than hold out, he’ll be relieved that injured Broncos pass rusher Elvis Dumervil won’t be lined up against him — McNeill lost the battle of “Doom” both times in 2009.

We’d advise the Chargers look at how the Super Bowl champions managed to move on without their similarly overrated franchise left tackle (Jammal Brown). The circumstances may be different, but injury forced the Saints to put blindside protection in the hands of their QB — and the end results were a shiny Vince Lombardi trophy, an increase in draft picks and a lot of money saved.

Not that any of this will change GM A.J. Smith’s mind – Smith has said he’s moved on without Jackson and McNeill – but it must be comforting for him to know that more than one person agrees that he shouldn’t give in to McNeill’s demands.

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