Monthly Archives: August 2016
When Branden Oliver left Sunday’s game with an obvious Achilles injury, Bolts fans, as well as the team, were faced with the question of who would fill in for the third-year back.
Monday, that query was answered when it was announced by chargers.com that the team had claimed running back Gus Johnson off of the waiver wire from the Atlanta Falcons.
Johnson is a 5-foot-10, 215-pound running back (Stephen F. Austin) who went undrafted in 2015. He was initially signed by the Dallas Cowboys and spent time on their practice squad until he was released and subsequently picked up by the Falcons. In two preseason games with Atlanta, Johnson collected 60 yards on 14 rushing attempts (five for first downs) with zero touchdowns.
The Chargers currently have Kenneth Farrow (5-foot-9, 219 lbs) as the only depth behind ball carriers Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead as the team just stated via chargers.com that Dreamius Smith was waived on Tuesday.
Farrow’s preseason numbers are 16 rushes for 60 yards with five of his runs ending as first downs. Though the former University of Houston (2016) back did not see any on-field participation against the Vikings on Sunday, it could be that his stature, being so similar to Oliver’s (5-foot-7, 208 lbs), may have swayed the coaches into Farrow still being on the roster.
It looks like Thursday’s preseason game against the 49ers will determine who ends up taking the No. 3 spot in the starting running back rotation.
In the meantime, welcome Gus Johnson to the San Diego Chargers.
Thanks for reading!
At long last, the San Diego Chargers have signed their first-round draft pick Joey Bosa today. The selection shocked everyone from all the media pundits to the Bolts fanbase themselves. The four-year deal is worth $25.8 million with a $17 million signing bonus according to Chargers.com and various major media outlets.
While waiting for his contract to get done, Bosa was a full participant in all training activities and impressed teammates with his work ethic. Newly-acquired defensive tackle Brandon Mebane had this to say about Bosa on Chargers.com:
“He’s a good guy. He asks questions. He always soaking up knowledge. He’s a little quiet right now. I can see he’s got a little nasty side in him so that’s a good thing. I think he’s a great player. I think he’s going to be a real help on our defensive line.” said Mebane.
“He don’t get tired out there. I’m thinking I’ve got to get my cardio up man. “Mebane joked. “He has great technique from what I’ve seen on the field. For a rookie he has great technique already. Seeing how good he is now compared to how good he’s going to be…once we get more and more reps every day, I think he’ll probably be a Pro Bowler.” Mebane added.
Linebacker Jerry Attaochu also had glowing words for Bosa. “He’s a great kid. Looks like he is going to give us a lot of help up front.” Attaochu said.
Offset language became the biggest point of contention holding up the deal. Offset language is simply if Bosa is cut or released during his rookie contract the Chargers are off the hook for any remaining salary he was scheduled to make.
Bosas’ management didn’t want any offset language in the contract. It means if Bosa did get cut or released before his rookie deal is up he would still get paid his full rookie contract. Players call it double-dipping, meaning a player is making full salary from his old team and his new team simultaneously.
The contract standoff deprived Bosa of needed training camp time and has also cost him the first three games of the preseason. The longest contract holdout since the inception of the next salary-slotted rookie wage scale, the Chargers’ and Bosas’ management team dug their heels in. Neither side was willing to budge over the offset language.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune and ESPN, a change in agents was the key element in breaking the contract impasse. The two sides returned to their seats at the bargaining table after the preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings and two days later, Bosa is finally a member of the San Diego Chargers.
Growing frustration over Bosas’ high-profile absence raised the ire of the fanbase and his teammates were beginning to voice their disapproval as valuable training and bonding time dissipates with each day passing.
Only 13 days remain until the start of the regular season.
The Chargers’ private jet went to Bosas’ hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida last week only to return empty. Cooler heads have finally prevailed and the two sides have come to a compromise. Bosa got what he wanted, his $17 million signing bonus is fully guaranteed. He will get 85% up front and the other 15% in 2017. The Chargers got what they wanted, the offset language clause is in effect.
The deal is done. It’s time to ball. Here’s a quick look at the man who is all the buzz (both good and bad) of the Chargers’ offseason. Looking forward to seeing lots of shrugs on the field in 2016!
Welcome to San Diego, Joey Bosa!
The Greg One
The San Diego Chargers’ private plane landed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday. The mission: Bring back the Chargers’ number one draft pick, Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa. Escort him from his childhood home to his adult home, San Diego, as a signed, sealed and delivered star of the future.
Armed with their best and final offer, Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco presented the offer on Tuesday. The offer was rejected on Wednesday. The plane returned to San Diego with the same names on the passenger manifest that it left with.
The mission had failed.
To that end, the Chargers front office released a official statement detailing the specifics of their offer before pulling the offer from the table. Paraphrasing the release, future offers will be adjusted based on the looming reality that Bosa will not get sufficient practice and classroom time to make playing the week one road game against the Kansas City Chiefs a possibility. The more games Bosa misses, the less money he will make out of the gate.
Not to be outdone, the management team of Joey Bosa, CAA, issued a response to the Chargers’ statement. Their statement reads as follows:
It is unfortunate the San Diego Chargers have decided to manipulate facts and negotiate in the media. The team surely is not strengthening its relationship with Joey Bosa by taking this stance and making their position public.
We have decided that we will not engage in public negotiations or discuss numbers and/or terms in this negotiation.
We will say, that it is ironic that the team now takes issue with the timing of Joey’s arrival, since the Chargers unilaterally decided to remain silent for the first 14 days of training camp instead of replying in a timely fashion to the proposal we made on the eve of training camp on July 28th.
At this point, all we can do is continue to fight for a fair contract on behalf of our client, as we do for all of our clients. The Chargers can focus on trying to sway public opinion, but our focus will remain on our client and securing a contract for him that is fair and consistent with his draft position.
This is the typical, We’re-taking-the-high-road response we’ve seen before. If Bosa’s management had gone public first, this would have been the Chargers’ response. Once again, both sides look to be entrenched with no end in sight. At the same time, these situations can turn overnight.
This deal will happen. Bosa will be in lightning bolts before week one is underway. Simply put, there is too much money on the table for the parties to walk away from and have Bosa re-enter the 2017 draft.
1. There’s no way to ever make that money back. Even if Bosa plays for 15 years and is paid handsomely, there is no way he will account for the millions he passed on by sitting out a year. This season will always represent millions more dollars that could have been in the bank.
2. Bosa will not be picked third in the 2017 NFL Draft. The top stars of the 2017 draft class will be taken ahead of Bosa. Bosa may fall into the middle of the first round or lower due to the fact that since the Chargers own his rights, he will not be able to visit, work out for or speak to other teams. The uncertainty will cause his stock to fall and even if he is selected in the first round, he will not make as much as he will by signing with the Chargers this season.
3. Perception of owners and players. Fairly or unfairly, this ordeal casts an unflattering shadow on Bosa. Other NFL owners may pass on him after seeing how the situation unfolded in San Diego. Telesco isn’t the only GM who doesn’t waive offset language or guarantee the full signing bonus before the end of the calendar year. Players may see Bosa as an entitled diva unwilling to earn his paycheck.
In the end, Bosa’s value will never be higher than it is right now. He only hurts his pride and his bottom line if he decides to sit out and re-enter the draft. That decision would run counter to the whole purpose of these frustrating negotiations.
Bosa will not make endorsement money sitting on the couch. He will not become the next big thing in football watching the games on Sundays. The only solution is to suit up, ball out and soak up the adoration of his teammates, the fans, the city, the media and cash in on Madison Avenue as he creates SportsCenter highlights on a weekly basis.
The shrug was local at Ohio State. If he performs up to his ability and shines, it will go viral in the NFL. That’s how you get paid.
It’s go time, rookie.
The Greg One
The lines in the sand in San Diego aren’t only on the beach volleyball courts. Through this offseason, the San Diego Chargers’ front office and management team of first-round pick Joey Bosa have drawn multiple lines in the sand to see who would flinch first. The holdout is the longest since the inception of the Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011, which implemented a rookie wage scale. The wage scale slots a first-round pick’s salary based on where they were selected from 1-32.
The only sticking point that is possible is how much in guarantees and bonuses a player will receive over the life of his rookie deal. The issue is over offset language. Offset language can be simplified as such: If Bosa is cut or released during his rookie contract the Chargers are off the hook for any remaining salary he was scheduled to make.
Bosa’s management didn’t want any offset language in the contract. It means if Bosa did get cut or released before his rookie deal is up, he would still get paid his full rookie contract, fifth-year option included. Players call it double-dipping, meaning a player is making full salary from his former team and his new team simultaneously.
On Tuesday, the Chargers’ key front office personnel flew to Bosa’s hometown in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to get the deal done. They returned to San Diego at approximately 11:30 a.m. local time without Bosa on the plane. Bosa’s camp rejected the Chargers’ final offer.
Shortly thereafter, the Chargers’ front office issued a press release detailing the specifics of their offer to the public. Taken directly from the Chargers’ official Twitter page, the statement is shown below. Click on the image to enlarge.
Statement from the San Diego Chargers on defensive end Joey Bosa. pic.twitter.com/BayBGeN22x
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) August 24, 2016
While fans will be on either side of this ordeal, the Chargers have let the record show — for their fans and, more importantly, for those in the locker room — that they went to Florida to get a deal done and were still rebuffed by Bosa’s management. Both sides are culpable in this standoff.
The Chargers’ publicly stated they knew Bosa was their man since the beginning of the 2015 college football season and his performance in 2015 only solidified their stance. Contract negotiations could have taken place long before the draft to ensure this scenario wouldn’t happen. Such a practice, however, hasn’t been necessary since the new CBA was ratified in 2011.
On the other hand, it can be viewed as arrogant and selfish that Bosa demands his full signing bonus in year one and his contract fully guaranteed regardless of whether he is still on the team at the end of his rookie contract. What does he have to hide? If he is as good as he thinks he is and the Chargers’ are as high on him as they have stated in the past, the chances of him getting cut or released are minuscule at best.
Everyone understands the shelf life of an NFL player is short and by all means, negotiate to maximize as much of your perceived worth as possible. In the end, you’re only worth what a team is willing to pay. Bosa is going to get the worth of his full rookie contract anyway; just over time. To ask for what no other Chargers’ player has (full signing bonus up front and no offset language) is setting a bad precedent for the present and the future.
More lines in the sand…
With their best offer shot down, the Chargers’ have pulled the offer from the table and will henceforth revise the deal based on the viewpoint that he will likely not be ready to take the field for Week one on the road in Kansas City. Now, the choice for Bosa is to sit out the season, miss out on millions of dollars and re-enter the draft in 2017 or sign and begin rebuilding a damaged relationship with the team, fans and front office.
All of a sudden, a shrug seems to be a perfect personification of how this negotiation has gone for both sides…
The sooner Bosa realizes he’s still a rookie that hasn’t played an official NFL down the better off he will be. In my opinion, he needs to swallow his pride, get on the field and prove his worth. When it’s time to negotiate the second contract, make all the demands you want. What do you think Bolt Nation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
The Greg One
A few weeks back, I wrote a piece on my thoughts on the Joey Bosa contract negotiations. I told everyone to “chill” on the Bosa contract. At the time, I had faith that the Chargers and Bosa’s agent would come together, reaching a deal that was mutually beneficial for both sides.
In the time since I wrote that first piece, it’s been a deadlock where neither side has budged. Currently, there are no signs of the parties blinking anytime soon.
Matters were escalated when Joey Bosa’s mom, Cheryl, exploded on Facebook saying, “wish we pulled an Eli Manning.”
We all know this story. I’ll sum it up again for our younger audience.
Eli’s dad didn’t want him playing in San Diego. So, when he was drafted by the Bolts, they refused to even go and there was the awkward presentation of Manning holding the Chargers jersey with complete disdain on his face.
Luckily, a trade was worked out between the Giants and San Diego received Philip Rivers and other picks in that deal. Since then, the name Eli boils the blood of SD faithful.
Cheryl Bosa is Joey’s mother, and she has every right to say what she wants as his mother. Was it timely? No. Should Chargers’ fans be expected to take a statement like that lightly? Hell no!
In an effort to avoid this post/situation seeming to be one-sided, I spoke with BoltBlitz.com staff writer Zak Darman, asking him his take on the predicament.
We’ll take a look at this from multiple perspectives.
Chris: From the Chargers’ perspective, what has been the hold-up on Bosa’s deal? What do they seem to gain from this standstill?
Zdizzle: The hold up on Bosa’s deal is the fact the Chargers are not wanting to pay him his entire bonus money upfront or to take off his offset language. What that means is, if Bosa is cut anywhere between Year One and Year Four of his rookie contract and he signs for less than $2 million somewhere else, he would then get paid the remaining deal from the Chargers and from the team who signs him. What Bosa’s side gains is a fair contract deal that 80 percent of all top-5 picks have received since the new CBA was put into place (2012), and what three of the top-five picks have received (three of the four not included him) this season alone.
No matter the outcome of this, it’s a bad look for a team that is supposedly trying to turn a new leaf and save face for a stadium vote in November. The longer this drags out, the worse it will affect November’s vote. As they say, though, winning cures everything, and only time will tell.
The Bosa Camp
With only two Preseason games left, Bosa has yet see the field at all during the preseason, missing precious reps that could help him come along in a defensive scheme that is like learning a foreign language to him. The reps and games he’s missing now could be better served by getting on the field with his teammates, earning the respect of said individuals. With pass-rushing defensive ends coming at a premium in this league, the sooner he begins playing and learning this scheme, the sooner he can trade up from his rookie deal for an even better payday.
Once again, I’ll bring back Zak to give his opinion on the subject.
Chris: So much has been made of what Bosa wants from the Chargers. If you could, please reiterate the two things the Bosa camp wants? Which one of the two do you think his camp would be willing to move on?
Zdizzle: I think Bosa’s camp would more than likely move on from the bonus money because Joey will be getting it regardless. The biggest thing I think is the offset language which is petty from both sides which is why this holdout is stupid but should still be taken care of and if failed to, should be a fireable offense.
The fact that this has dragged on for both sides. Makes you think that A. Bosa may need to think of a new agent next time around if there is one. B. The Chargers seriously need to rethink their contract negotiation strategy.
It is worth noting, the past two years have been some of the hardest times for Chargers fans, not solely due to the team losing on the field; the threat of this team moving to a different city has inched closer and closer, too. It has tested the loyalties of a fractured fan base; one which may not recover for a long time. Yet, with all of the offseason additions, coupled by the drafting of Joey Bosa, the fans have had something positive to hang our collective hats on. Most individuals are not fond of millionaires fighting with billionaires over money; we just wanna see our players play.
Once more, here’s Zak to chyme in with his hot take on the situation.
Chris: When should the fans truly begin to panic? With the recent news that the Chargers and Bosa have reconvened, when do you expect a deal to be struck? Will see Bosa play in preseason? If so, will he see more reps than a normal first-round pick, just to catch him up on the time he’s missed?
Zdizzle: I’d say the time to panic would be the start of regular season games (which I don’t think it goes that far and, in fact, I think it gets done before the team’s third preseason game). With that being said, I’m not expecting him to be rushed into game action, as he is far from being in football shape, and still needs to catch up on the playbook and assignments given to him by defensive coordinator John Pagano.
All in all, this is a very silly holdout on the part of Bosa and his agents, and very silly for the Chargers to conduct business in such a manner. At the end of the day, not one side is more to blame than the other and both are equally at fault.
Is time to panic on Bosa? I tend to lean toward what Zak said regarding the regular season. Then I will panic. As for now, I’m remaining optimistic. Both sides have started talking again. Per some social media stalking done by multiple bloggers, the team’s personal plane was even spotted on Tuesday, landing in Fort Lauderdale, where Bosa lives.
Hopefully, I will soon be congratulating the two sides on FINALLY getting this contract mess worked out.
For the time being, try to stay positive, BoltFam.
Running back Donald Brown, formerly of your San Diego Chargers, was released by the New England Patriots on Tuesday, according to reports from ProFootballTalk.com.
Brown occasionally made a play here and there for the Chargers — most notably that long run in 2015 against the Dolphins in what was possibly going to be the Bolts’ last game in San Diego — but he’ll mostly be remembered for signing a three-year deal with the Bolts that paid him north of $10 million that turned out to be a huge overpayment.
General manager Tom Telesco clearly had a lot of respect for Brown, keeping him on the roster much longer than he needed to, considering a minimal amount of production from the former Colt.
I must admit that when it was first announced that Brown was signing with the Patriots, I immediately thought to myself, “watch, he’ll provide a significant and useful contribution while in New England.”
Well, that’s what I get for “thoughting.” (My Dad used to pull that shit with me when I was a kid and I told him what I thought about certain plays and players.)
Brown is now set to be a free agent, and no, I do not believe he’ll ever be back in a Chargers’ uniform; thank goodness.
It all came about because of a neighbor, who happened to be a diehard Chargers fan.
Initially, I was never a gal who liked to watch football. I went to a couple of games in high school but that was it. I grew up in this little place in Rhode Island, which is about a 90-minute drive outside of Boston. The closest NFL team was the Patriots. (I know, boo-hiss!) The only thing I could tell you then about the New England Patriots was that their quarterback was Jim Plunkett and they played at Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough, MA.
My dad was a baseball guy, a fan of the good ol’ Boston Red Sox. The BoSox were his team, and Luis Tiant was his favorite player; probably more so than either Carl Yazstremski (“Yaz” was my favorite) or Tony Conigliaro.
We never watched football!
No, not even Super Bowls!
Fast forward to moving from the East Coast to the West Coast in 1980. I was still pretty uneducated about football at that time, but not for much longer!
I believe it was that fall when we began going to our neighbor’s home to watch San Diego Chargers football on Sunday afternoons. The Chargers’ Air Coryell offense was flying high with Fouts at QB. He had Charlie Joiner and John Jefferson at wideout, along with Chuck Muncie and John Cappelletti as his running backs. Additionally, No. 14 had Kellen Winslow at the tight-end spot. Remember that defense? Willie Buchanon, Louie Kelcher, Woody Lowe, Don Macek, Jim Laslavic and Ed White. Beasts!
That was a great year to start being a fan. The Chargers ended the season with an 11-5 record, finishing in 1st place in the AFC West. They went on to face the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round and won. Unfortunately, they ran into the Oakland Raiders at the AFC Championship level and lost. Disappointed, but my interest was piqued.
The following year the Chargers won their division again, in no small part due to the guys who returned from the previous year, but also additions like Wes Chandler, James Brooks, Eric Sievers and Pete Holohan.
Then came the “Epic in Miami.” What a game! Once you hear it, all football fans immediately associate it with the image of an exhausted and drained Kellen Winslow being helped off the field by a couple of teammates. Chargers won the hard-fought, see-saw contest, 41-38 in overtime. It was quite a battle.
These are the types of games that get fans fired up! I was no different. By that point, I was becoming a fan, although my understanding of the sport was still miniscule.
After the heat and humidity of Miami a week later, Fouts and Company found themselves in Cincinnati. This game gets a nickname, too: the “Freezer Bowl.” From the heat and humidity of Miami to the sub-zero temperatures in Cincy, where the wind chill at game time was minus-59 degrees! The Chargers would have the fight of their football lives on the line. Sadly, they lost to the Bengals 27-7.
Of course, there were other games and players that helped solidify my enjoyment – and frustration – of Chargers’ football, just like many other people who root for them. As a “transplant” to California in 1980, there were four football teams here: the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland Raiders, the LA Rams and the San Diego Chargers.
I chose to represent San Diego then as I do now. My understanding of the game is better because of family and friends, plus a little bit of reading. I still have a long way to go and every year is a learning experience.
Thanks for some awesome memories over the years, San Diego Chargers! Now let’s bring on 2016!
Thank you for reading!
Usually when journalists such as myself look forward to a brand new season of football, we look at things like QBR, preseason numbers and even the previous season’s statistics. This analysis will different than usual. Why? That is because football is so much more than just a number’s game; it is a game that is not played by players who have their data set and can be predictable.
Football is a game played by humans, and that in and of itself can directly affect play on the field. Using the skills I have learned while studying human communication while minoring in Sports Management at Grand Canyon University, (Go Lopes!) I will look team-by-team and present my analysis here.
San Diego Chargers: The big controversy around this team is whether Joey Bosa will sign or not. Several current and former Chargers players have already voiced their disgust for this situation. If Bosa does end up signing with San Diego and not “pulling an Eli Manning,” that will cause rifts that will directly affect team chemistry on the defensive side of the ball.
As we all saw from the Denver Broncos last season, defensive chemistry is a must for a championship season. Also coming off of a season with as many injuries that the Chargers had last season, it will take a little bit of time for Philip Rivers to get acquainted or reacquainted with his wide receiving corps. If a quarterback does not trust his receivers, he is unable to make the split-second decisions that are needed to win football games.
Kansas City Chiefs: The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense is facing the issue of a lack of leadership due to the uncertainty of the situation of their longtime defensive captain, Eric Berry. Captain is more than just a fancy title and a stitching on their jersey; it is a position that is handed to those that rise above and are chosen by their teammates to lead them not only on the field, but off the field as well. On the offensive side of the ball, Alex Smith must get comfortable throwing more than ten yards on any given play. As soon as teams start jumping routes, the Chiefs will not be able to return to being over .500.
Oakland Raiders: The issue with the Oakland Raiders is the fact that they may not have a home next season. It is a situation similar to the Chargers, however, at least last season Chargers’ fans knew that it would be at most a 2-hour drive north. With the Raiders, it will either be a 6-hour drive to Los Angeles or a 10-hour drive to Las Vegas. There are not many fans that can put their faith in a team that may leave them.
Fan presence is a huge factor when the game is on the line, when the opposing offense is on the field, driving towards a score. The only thing that can disrupt that momentum is a lot of crowd noise to get inside the opposing QB’s head, such as when another team plays in either Seattle, Arizona or Kansas City.
Denver Broncos: The issue with the Broncos this season will be at the QB position. Something a lot of fans may not realize is that the QB is the leader. When you have no idea who the outstanding leader is, the offense will have nothing but miscues, accompanied by little to no sense of direction. Also, they are dealing with choosing from a few youngsters and a QB who has garnered little respect in the NFL, Mr. Butt-fumble himself, Mark Sanchez.
The San Diego Chargers host the Arizona Cardinals for a week of practice leading up to their game Friday. The Cardinals begin practice at Chargers Park on Tuesday after having their home turf taken over by Guns N’ Roses’ massive arena tour on Monday. On Tuesday, practice will be at Qualcomm Stadium, Wednesday at Chargers Park. Both teams will take the day off Thursday to rest before the game Friday.
The joint practice will be a nice change-of-pace for both teams. Undoubtedly, they’re all tired of hitting each other in practice. One could expect the intensity level of practice to heighten with men in different colored jerseys on the opposite sideline. This will be a big week for the players fighting to make the roster.
Living in Phoenix, I have heard plenty of juicy tidbits coming from the Cardinals’ side of the ball. The Arizona Cardinals are a Super Bowl favorite and a great way for the Chargers to test themselves against one of the deepest and most talented rosters in the league. Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians expressed his respect for Chargers’ head coach Mike McCoy on local radio Monday and talked about the joint practice.
“That’s the one thing, I enjoy working with Mike McCoy because we have the same philosophy.” Arians said. “We wouldn’t practice any different. We wouldn’t hit a guy going over the middle on our team in practice; we won’t hit one of their guys going over the middle. We always stay away from the quarterback.” Arians continued.
“It’s creating competition but it’s practice, and we’ve got 180 guys on the same team for three days. Then we’ll play them in the game and all bets are off.” Arians said on the Doug and Wolf morning radio show Monday.
More interestingly, Cardinals’ General Manager Steve Keim was also on the radio Monday talking about the road trip and made no bones about the fact he was looking to wheel and deal if the opportunity presents itself.
“I reached out to Tom Telesco last night and he and I will get together before practices start and talk about both of our rosters,” Keim started. “See where our deficiencies are you know; in hopes that you can always talk about, hey, is there an area where we can help each other improve?” Keim stated.
This kind of talk goes on behind-the-scenes at every joint practice if the front office is worth their salt. There are two 90-man rosters full of guys playing their hardest to showcase their talents for their current team and whomever else may be watching. What’s curious about this case is that Keim, who does a radio segment every week in Phoenix, has made it no secret over the past two weeks that he will be actively pursuing a healthy exchange of ideas and hopefully players during this trip to San Diego.
Sounds like the Chargers have something the Cardinals want…
Let’s look at the possibilities. The Cardinals have a wealth of depth at their defensive line, wide receiver, secondary and running back positions. They are lacking on their offensive line, especially at right tackle. The Cards are currently starting D.J. Humphries. Humphries was their first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Arians listed Humphries as inactive for every game last season because of his inability to grasp the playbook and laziness on the practice field. Humphries earned the unfortunate nickname “knee-deep” referring to Arians’ disposition with Humphries in 2015.
Arizona’s deficiencies at linebacker have been hidden due to the effectiveness of the secondary and defensive line. If the Cardinals plan on carrying a third quarterback, it won’t be NFL journeyman Matt Barkley or Jake Coker, an undrafted free agent signee out of Alabama. Both quarterbacks have been unimpressive in camp and in their first preseason game.
San Diego has an abundance of talent at linebacker where they currently have 15 linebackers on their roster. The Chargers also have better depth at tight end, quarterback and offensive tackle. The possibilities for a talent exchange is endless but I will give you five names to watch.
RB Andre Ellington: The Cardinals drafted Ellington in the sixth-round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Lower leg and foot injuries have derailed what was a phenomenal start to his career. Ellington is finally back to full strength from his injuries but with Chris Johnson (who led the NFL in rushing yards before he went down to injury in 2015), the emergence of David Johnson, Stepfan Taylor (considered the best pass protector of the group) and Kerwynn Williams on board, Ellington may be the odd man out. Ellington would be a great insurance policy for Melvin Gordon and he is an electrifying return man as well. Just how fast is Ellington? He ran the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in 4.51-seconds with a pulled hamstring!
QB Mike Bercovici and G Vi Teofilo: Both of these men played their college ball right down the I-10 at Arizona State University. Bercovici has been the most impressive of the quarterbacks the Chargers have brought in during the offseason. Kellen Clemens and Zach Mettenberger are likely to be second and third on the quarterback depth chart unless Telesco sees enough promise in Bercovici to make one of the two expendable. Teofilo is a 6″3′-inch, 315-pound guard who fills a need for depth at that position.
CB Justin Bethel: In a very crowded Cardinals’ secondary room, Bethel has sat on the sidelines with a foot injury and watched as his job is threatened by rookie third-round pick Brandon Williams. Williams has wowed the coaching staff with one head-turning practice after another and is making the most of his quick ascension to the first team.
Bethel was a key piece of the Cardinals’ 2015 secondary as the number two cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson. With Peterson locking down his side of the field, lots of balls came Bethels’ way and he was up to the task with 46 combined tackles, nine passes defensed, two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and two forced fumbles. Bethel was signed to a three-year, $15-million dollar contract extension in the offseason and made the Pro Bowl for the third consecutive year in 2015 as a special-teamer. Arians has a reputation for his disdain for players in the trainers’ room. Bethel could be moved if the price is right.
ILB Manti Te’o: Manti isn’t on the bubble but this is a contract year for him. Many stories are afloat about Te’o finally coming into his own as a leader. Foot injuries limited his effectiveness in his first two seasons but he finally showed what he is capable of in 2015 as he led the Chargers in tackles with 107 combined tackles. Te’o had a strong finish to his 2015 season, especially after Denzel Perryman was promoted to starter midway through the season. The two had an unspoken chemistry and played well off each other.
Why would the Chargers let him go now?
Te’o leaves you wanting more and not necessarily in a good way. Every missed tackle, every time a receiver catches a ball right in front of him, every time he’s left behind by a running back we shake our heads in frustration. To his credit, 2015 was hands down the best we’ve seen of him. However, there is a reason Telesco hasn’t offered him an extension when he has been diligently signing the Chargers’ core players to multi-year deals.
A Te’o-for-Bethel deal works for both sides.
What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
The Greg One
Over the weekend the San Diego Chargers released a brand-new four-and-a-half minute sizzle ad, launching their movement to win the stadium vote in November. The ad, narrated by Chargers’ legend and Hall-of-Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, shows a beautiful 3-D rendering of the stadium, complete with improvements to the cityscape both physically and financially. Edited versions of the ad will be seen on local television soon.
The ad spearheads a full mass media campaign blitz which will also cover print, radio and social media. In addition to the Chargers’ efforts, citizen-led fan groups such as Save Our Bolts, Die Hard Bolt Club, San Diego Chargers Backers, Bolt Pride and others will cover the streets of San Diego by foot, detailing the stadium plan and encouraging citizens to vote YES in November.
To view the full-length stadium ad, click on the image below.
The ad is funded by Citizens for Sports, entertainment and Tourism with major funding from Chargers Football Company LLC. Major bulletpoints in the video stress the fact that there will be no new taxes levied on San Diego citizens. The funds would instead come from tourists, convention-goers and out-of-town business people staying in local hotels.
The 55-year history of the Chargers in San Diego is highlighted going back as far as Fouts’ famed ‘Air Coryell’ era to the current Philip Rivers-led era. The CGI-renderings show a beautiful state-of-the-art facility with a convention center annex. The deck of the annex would feature multiple viewing balconies and a grass-covered rooftop ‘sky garden’ where patrons can enjoy a panoramic view of the San Diego skyline.
The stadium would hold 61,500 fans and when they host the Super Bowl, seating could be expanded to hold 72,000. As Fouts so eloquently asks in the video, “What could be sweeter than Raiders, Broncos and Patriots fans all helping pay for the project, when they pay their hotel bill?”
The video is capped by Chargers’ owner Dean Spanos, speaking on behalf of the entire Chargers organization.
“This new facility will be much more than a stadium, it will be a world-class event center for San Diego that will create new convention space and attract new sports and entertainment events year-round. I hope you’ll take some time to consider our proposal and know that we’re here to listen and respond. San Diego is our home, and I believe the best is still to come for all of us together. So please, join with us.” Spanos said.
The video is remarkable and would be a boon to the San Diego economy for decades to come. In the short-term, tons of new city and government jobs will be added. Stadiums take time to build and this stadium could take 5-7 years to complete. Money from the approved hotel rate hike would go into the general fund after the stadium revenues are fulfilled. That money can go anywhere from repaving roads, improving schools and improving outdated features of the city.
San Diego is the greatest destination city in America, every travelling convention, trade show, major concert act would make San Diego a priority. Special attraction events such as the Olympics, World Cup, Final Fours, Wrestlemania and the yearly return of Comic-Con would ensure there is no off-season when it comes to the amount of money the city stands to make.
Citizens of San Diego, you owe this to yourselves and to your families. All it takes is a Yes vote at the polls in November to provide the brightest future, not just for the Chargers, but for the city of San Diego and its’ people for decades to come.
When all those annoying Broncos, Raiders and Chiefs fans roll into town bragging about how great their team is, we can just smile and thank them for building our new stadium. What do you think Bolt Nation? Will this get a YES vote from you in November? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
The Greg One