Tag:A.J. Smith
Posted on: October 21, 2010 7:43 pm

Smith expects Jackson to be 'major contributor'

Posted by Will Brinson

Vincent Jackson informed the San Diego Chargers that he'll sign his tender Friday (which means a return date of October 29, due to his roster exempt suspension), but even though the former Pro Bowler is coming back, there's no guarantee that the Chargers will bring him right back into the fold, right?

Wrong -- A.J. Smith told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune on Thursday afternoon that he expects Jackson to be a "major contributor."

"I believe he will do well," Smith said. "He always has been a worker, stays in shape, knows our offense. After a little game-speed adjustment, I would expect him to be a major contributor."

This is surprising if only because Smith's been so stubborn with Jackson's situation -- although his stance was the same with Marcus McNeill as well.

It's not surprising because the Chargers are floundering early (again) at 2-4, Malcom Floyd, Legedu Naanee and Antonio Gates are all somewhat injured, and Buster Davis has two king-size Butterfingers attached to his wrists.

In short, Jackson immediately makes this team immensely more dangerous on the offensive end, and it behooves Smith, for job security's sake, to make sure that things are "all business" with his disgruntled wideout. Plus, a big second half to the season from Jackson means more wins for the Bolts and more money for the receiver, so it's a win-win as long as everyone can play nice off the field.

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Posted on: October 11, 2010 10:55 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2010 11:26 pm

McNeill, Chargers close on 5-year extension

Posted by Will Brinson

Marcus McNeill ended his holdout and reported to the San Diego Chargers, although he lost a ton of money and missed the first few weeks of the season -- turns out he definitely should have just shown up on time, as the team reportedly rewarded him with a five-year contract extension.

That's according to Adam Schefter at halftime of this, ahem, thrilling Vikings-Jets game on Monday night, and it's something that makes sense, because McNeill, while not the best left tackle in the game, is pretty critical to the Chargers offense (although they played well without him).

What's so mind-scratching, though, is that both he and the Chargers wasted a significant amount of either games or money, depending on which side you're talking about, to get this done.

On the other hand, A.J. Smith has established -- quite firmly -- that he's got a "no negotiation with malcontents" policy, and if he says he's moving on without you, he's actually moving on without you.

Which is to say, don't expect the Chargers and Vincent Jackson to mend fences any time soon.

Update (11:15): Additional sources are reporting the McNeill extension, including Lee Hamilton a San Diego radio host. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the deal "is not done, but obviously close enough that ESPN was tipped" and is "expected to be announced tomorrow."

"That's not the case," Smith told Acee. "If there is something to report we'll let you know."

However, Acee added that some final negotiating points "won't be an issue" and something should get done.

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Posted on: September 23, 2010 4:50 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2010 9:07 am

Givin' Em the Business: Bearded, drunk & stupid

Givin Em the Business recognizes all the people that annoyed you from the week that was in football. Feel free to provide nominations either in the comments or by yelling at us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .

Rank Who Why


Braylon Edwards
Everyone's done stupid stuff in their life before. Sometimes drunk driving is among that stupid stuff. But that doesn't excuse this bearded clown hopping in a car -- with two teammates! -- and cruising around New York City -- a city with approximately 7,000,000 taxi cabs! -- absolutely lit up -- two times the legal limit! -- while ignoring the fact that his team is under a microscope -- and that they provide a taxi service for players! The best part was when he said he didn't think it caused a black eye for his team. /SMH


Full disclosure: I am a DirecTV customer. I love DirecTV almost as much as I hate Time Warner. I spend hundreds of dollars a month their way for excessive sports packages (and some movie action, but just about 25 percent worth, if the IRS happens to be reading). But the joke of a job they're doing with their online Sunday Ticket package makes AT&T look like a competent cell phone company.


Andy Reid
Hey, big guy, make up your freaking mind, m'kay? Look, sometimes I find myself sitting at the buffet line wondering whether I want the quickly cooked hot wings or the slow-cooked ribs. And then I think "OHHHH, I want BOTH." So I keep walking back and forth between the two, trying desperately to decide which it is I want, flipping back and forth a couple times, before I finally just decide to have both. Of course, that doesn't make me a bad person because I'm not making decisions about REAL PEOPLE.


Brandon Jacobs
The NFL is (in Jacobs' own words) a 'cutthroat business.' As such, if you lose some reps, get fired or treated poorly, well, you have to deal with it like a grown man. It seemed like Jacobs was going to do that the first time, when he merely stated how disappointed he was for himself. Now, he's suddenly throwing helmets into stands and not-actually demanding to get trades. Follow your own advice, Brandon, and act like a man.


Vincent Jackson
There's some sympathy to be had for a guy that deserves more money than he's making and only got hosed because the CBA got cancelled. But there's also something to be said to the guy who could have signed a multi-million dollar tender, played this year and then earned a fatty-fatterson contract next offseason. And that thing is, "SIGN THE DAMN CONTRACT, DUDE."


A.J. Smith
Of course, V-Jax isn't just at fault -- could Smith and the Chargers really not just have given him a little bump in pay? Or said, "you know what, forget it, we'll take a second- and a fourth-rounder in exchange from Minnesota." They don't need him, necessarily, but why on Earth you'd pass up that kind of draft bonus in 2011 or that kind of production in 2010 is beyond anything reasonable.


Albert Haynesworth
Well, this is getting repitive, isn't it? There's a good chance Haynesworth makes it here every week. The amazing thing about his appearance today, though, is the fact that he was inactive for his team's loss against the Texans on Sunday for "being a pain." And he very nearly became the first person ever to get put on the inactive list after the game. Either way, Haynesworth clearly can't get rid of his attitude problem, he clearly can't get along with coach Mike Shanahan, and he clearly needs to get traded so we can stop talking about this every week.


Jerry Jones
JERRAH. What is the deal with this calm reaction to an 0-2 start? Why ae you supporting the team and Wade Phillips and trying to act like you're not worried about the team slowly losing its grasp on a chance to win a Super Bowl in your brand new stadium?!? Come on, man! We want hellfire and brimstone and cooking Phillips' bacon cooking and a midseason coaching fire and Tony Romo benching and everything else that comes with a really angry Texas billionaire.


Matt Moore
The one thing that your team asks you to do, Mr. Moore, is to not turn the ball over. It also helps if you can not do so in the red zone as well. And really, anything slightly better than "Jake Delhomme" would satisfy the Panthers' fans and coaches. Yet, you're somehow worse. So now we all have to deal with the prospect that Jimmy Clausen could be good and Mel Kiper could be right. Also: all of our NBA blogger-as-a-quarterback jokes are dead . Thanks for nothing.


Icing the Kicker
No, this does NOT have to do with me losing one of my expert picks because Gary Kubiak out Mike Shanahan'd Mike Shanahan. It has to do with a ridiculous rule that shouldn't be in the NFL anymore. Look, it's okay to ice a kicker as the team is lining up and about to snap, but icing someone literally seconds before the snap happens and forcing the kick to go through is ridiculous. It's like standing next to someone who's putting on the 18th for their career low and screaming in their face, then giving them a mulligan and promising you'll be quiet. In other words, just annoying.

Posted on: September 22, 2010 11:02 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 11:14 am

Report: Rams out of running for Jackson

Posted by Will Brinson

There have been four teams named as possible suitors for Vincent Jackson: the Vikings, the Seahawks, the Redskins and the Rams. Although the Vikings were the most heavily discussed, but certainly the other receiver-needy teams listed were possibilities as well.

Reportedly, though, you can scratch the Rams from the list of teams trying to make a play for the Pro Bowler before 4 PM today -- sources tell Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the Rams are no longer interested in pursuing Jackson.

And that makes total sense. Jackson is expensive to obtain from the Chargers, requiring a second- and third-round draft pick in 2011, and provided the Rams want to keep him more than a year (they would, as they're not exactly "contenders" in 2010), he'd require a long-term contract.

Making that pricey deal even more complicated is the fact that Jackson has two DUIs on his record, and further off-field problems could cost him up to a year's suspension.

That's clearly something that the Rams don't want to deal with as they try to rebuild, so they're smart to avoid getting involved in a game of chicken with the typically unblinking A.J. Smith.

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

Chargers should pay V-Jackson; not McNeill

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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Posted on: August 1, 2010 7:43 pm

A.J. Smith is 'done talking' about McNeil, V-Jax

Obviously, the biggest storyline surrounding the San Diego Chargers is the absence of Marcus McNeil and Vincent Jackson from the team's training camp. Anytime you have two Pro Bowlers missing from your squad, it's something the press wants to know about.

But GM A.J. Smith doesn't care what we want. Because he's "done talking" about the guys who want new deals.
“I’m done talking about Vincent (Jackson) and Marcus (McNeill),” he said. “Our season is under way now. They have made a business decision, along with their agents, to not be a part of the team. They are not pleased with our position, and that is their right. Our total concentration will be on players that are trying to help us win now. If they should ever rejoin us at any time, I will be happy to address the situation with you then.” This fits right in line with Smith's previous stance that he was prepared to lose both Jackson and McNeil. He was also asked about Shawne Merriman (albeit separately) and had a similar answer:
“I’m done talking about Shawne,” Smith said. “Our season is under way. Our total focus will be on players that are here. This camp will go by fast, and the Chiefs game will be on us fast.” So, yeah, Smith is making it pretty clear that he's not even going to PRETEND to play ball with these guys that want new deals.

And at this point, it might be too late for Jackson and McNeil to even bother trying to show up. Sure, they could, but they've likely angered some teammates at this point. Clearly, Smith isn't thrilled about the situation.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: July 24, 2010 12:39 pm

A few of the many who will hold out

How about some holdout news (though I’m sure we’ll get a ton of it in the next few weeks to follow)?

Don’t expect to see Chargers LT Marcus McNeil and WR Vincent Jackson anytime soon. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee , both players are committed to seeing their holdouts all the way through. Neither apparently has spoken with San Diego’s front office since the middle of last month.

Though this news has gone under the radar – especially as it relates to McNeil and Jackson – LB Shawne Merriman also isn’t happy with his contract situation and might not show up on time.

From the story:

Having stayed away from Chargers Park most of the offseason and having not participated in minicamp or coaching sessions, Merriman has declined to comment on when he will report. However, sources confirmed the sides are in the preliminary stages of discussing the circumstances and timing of Merriman signing his $3.269-million tender and reporting to camp.

Still, it must be pointed out there has been talk about one or all three players sitting out the entire season.

Everyone has debated for months and will continue for months to argue the merits of each side doing what it is doing.

The bottom line: The team has several players whose contracts are up in 2010, and it has prioritized how it will work down the list. (Everyone needs to get in line behind Antonio Gates.) Add an uncertain labor climate, and the Chargers are not doing long-term deals at present.

Also, GM A.J. Smith doesn’t plan to reinstate money he trimmed from Jackson’s and McNeill’s tenders when they did not sign by June 15.

Anyway, check out the rest of the story. Acee has some interesting scenarios that could play out in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, in Eagles news, ESPN.com reports first-round pick defensive end Brandon Graham probably won’t be in attendance when Philadelphia opens training camp Monday. Apparently, early conversations have begun between Graham and the Eagles, but it sounds like the two sides aren’t close to an agreement.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 22, 2010 2:29 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2010 2:50 pm

Merriman a Charger 'until I am told otherwise'

Shawne Merriman is one of many San Diego Chargers not, um, "thrilled" with his contract status. He joins, most notably, Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill as those steering clear of the Bolts' headquarters ; not to mention rookie Ryan Mathews who's been waffling on holdout chatter this week .

But that doesn't mean Merriman thinks he's done in San Diego. In fact, he was at least mildly enthusiastic about being a Charger when asked about his future on XX Sports Radio in San Diego :
“I am a San Diego Charger until I am told otherwise. The rest of the stuff is just talk to me and until I hear or get a call from someone saying you are not a San Diego Charger anymore, I am a San Diego Charger until I am done playing football. That is the way that I started when I came in and that is the way I am going to keep it until I go out. Until I am told otherwise I am going to continue to do what I am doing. Merriman also touched on a timetable for getting to camp, stating that he had no specific date in mind but would just "be ready when the time comes."

The former Defensive Player of the Year also touched on his upcoming Entourage cameo, but the primary point of the interview seemed to be that Merriman really, really wants to get back on the field and play football for San Diego.

One small problem there: if GM A.J. Smith isn't budging on Jackson and McNeill, why would he cave to Merriman, particularly when he reached for a replacement (Larry English) in the first round last year? He won't -- which means if Merriman wants to play in San Diego this year, it'll be without a long term deal.

-- Will Brinson

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com