The Chargers have typically strong attendance for almost all offseason training activities, whether its a voluntary session or not. The players look forward to working out together and getting better both individually and as a group. Its a close-knit team that genuinely acts as a brotherhood. I cant recall a single incident of inter-team conflict. (Aside from AJ Smith vs. Marty Schottenheimer)
Drayton Florence recently joined the rest of the team after spending the last month at the Randy Moss Speed Camp down in Florida. Athletes from a number of different teams participate in Moss's fitness bootcamp, and Florence has been down there in the offseason for years, so its nothing new for him.
But whats interesting about it this season in particular is that Florence knows he is entering the last year of his contract with the San Diego Chargers, and that Antonio Cromartie is waiting in the wings. In fact, Cromartie got all of Florence's reps with the first team during the month that Florence was home in Florida.
The Chargers and Drayton Florence have tried to get a new contract in place, but the team is not going to pay Florence what he wants (and what he knows he can get in free agency). The two sides are far apart money-wise, and Florence can see the writing on the wall. He has seen what Drew Brees and Donnie Edwards went through, and how they failed to remain with the team.
I can understand that Drayton Florence wants to improve individually, but unless his heart is set on remaining in San Diego, then I am not sure how much, as a fan, I want to invest in him. I like Drayton as a player, and I have spoken to him in person before. He is a nice guy, humble in person but a maniac on the field. He has the ability and talent to hold on to his starting job this year. But if his heart is not set on being a Charger, then the coaching staff and front office will see that and he will not be the team's biggest offseason priority (like Kris Dielman was). He is not going to have the backing of the veterans in the locker room, and they will not be putting phone calls into the front office offering to restructure their own contracts to keep Florence around.
Again, I totally understand and respect the hard work Drayton Florence is putting in to improve as a player. But he needs to understand that he needs to put in an equal amount of work to endear himself to the team and to the fans if he truly does wish to remain in San Diego for another four or five years.
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