Chargers McNeill & Jackson Return While Merriman Departs

It has been a season in flux for the San Diego Chargers roster in 2010. Not only has the team been forced to deal with injuries to the offensive line and linebacker core, but the Chargers just signed their fifth longer snapper of the season when Mike Windt joined the club this week.

But over the last 48 hours things have gotten really interesting.

The first news to come down involved Pro Bowl left tackle Marcus McNeill. After a lengthy hold out that had been kept relatively quiet – outside of the Twitter universe – McNeill decided seemingly out of nowhere to report to the Chargers and sign his reduced tender. It was a move that made both sides look foolish, but eased the minds of many fans that were tired of watching Philip Rivers get blindsided when Brandon Dombrowski got beat by an experienced rusher.

At the time there was speculation that McNeill came back because he and the Chargers had the framework of a deal in place, but until late Monday, nothing was known for sure.

While it will take time for McNeill to regain his form after not seeing live action in nearly nine months, he will be an immediate upgrade on the offensive line and help give depth to a quickly depleting squad.

Next, the Chargers announced a roster move that would send Pro Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman to the Minor Injury Designation list where he would remain until he was healthy enough to cut. This move is covered in NFL red tape, but it basically marked the end of Merriman’s tenure in San Diego.

Merriman’s story is one of disappointment for Charger fans. After three straight Pro Bowl seasons to begin his career, Merriman has failed to play more than a few productive games in the last three seasons.

He was always at odds with the front office throughout his time in San Diego. After Merriman decided to wait to get knee surgery until after the first week of the 2008 season, his relationship with the Chargers was permanently soured. Merriman never got the long-term contract he asked for and the Chargers refused to commit to a player they viewed as a liability on and off the field.

The great fear now that San Diego must be in is that Merriman will return to his previous level and make general manager AJ Smith look like a fool for giving up on him like has happened with Drew Brees, LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie – just to name a few.

The final, and most shocking, roster move for the Chargers in the last few days involved a report from ESPN that Vincent Jackson would report to the team on October 30.

Jackson has been a source of headaches and heartache for the Chargers front office and San Diegans alike. His holdout has dominated both local and national news scenes since early training camp, and when Smith decided to play hardball, Jackson and his agent took a firm stand.

But after being thrown around in trade talks for the last few months, Jackson is scheduled to return to the Chargers for the last 6 games of the season. He will likely take an immediate spot in the team’s rotation of receivers, but between Antonio Gates’ amazing performance thus far and the chemistry being created between Malcolm Floyd and Rivers, Jackson’s days as the number one target in San Diego are likely over.

It has been both an interesting and exciting few days on the Charger football scene. The loss of Merriman should have little effect on the team while the additions of McNeill and Jackson should help lead yet another late charge to the playoffs. It remains to be scene how much it will show that McNeill and Jackson have not played in nearly nine months, but at this point, the Chargers are looking for any help they can get.

What are your thoughts on the recent roster moves? Is this team now on pace to make the playoffs?

October 14, 2010

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Mark said... Oct 14, 2010, 9:08:00 AM

From a fan's standpoint, this article is received with both happiness and sadness.

First the happy: 1) McNeil is signed long-term
2) Vincent Jackson is back, but could be
his last season with the bolts.

And the very sad: My man Shawne Merriman is on the out. This move is going to come back to haunt AJ big-time. I think "Lights-Out" has some better days ahead. Maybe he just needed a little more time to find his game after the knee surgery.

He will be missed- the emotional leader and a great guy in the community (save for the Tila Tequila incident). I remember he bought a family a new home a few years back after the wildfires.
My last great memory of Shawne was when he sacked Eli Manning in last year's Giants game to end the game and did one last "Lights-Out" dance. I think that was the last time I saw him do the dance- I hope he goes to play in the NFC so we won't have to face him.

And as for AJ, I am seriously doubting his tactics and skills as a General Manager. If we had McNeil, we probably could have avoided a couple of losses. And the Jackson ordeal has been a complete train-wreck. And again, I have a funny feeling Lights-Out will make us miss him dearly.

Peace-Out, Lights-Out

Anonymous said... Oct 14, 2010, 9:14:00 AM

Just as I said Before these guys are Cancers and should handled as such. I'm thrilled to see merriman go and be gone. He played it smart and took the money and played the injury card so far this season. Finally after 5 weeks the chargers caught onto his plan.

Now Jackson, dude your agent is retarded and your even more retarded for listening to him. You had a chance to be a charger for a long time if ya would've kept your mouth shut and just played the season out and stayed out of trouble(no more DUI). Don't act like your the innocent one VJ b/c you have brought all this on yourself. I expect VJ to have that "F" the world attitude once he signs his 600k tender so don't expect much from that dude.

In due time Charger fans all the bad apples will have been plucked and tossed away. Soon, very soon, now AJ and his scouting crew need to hit the jackpot this coming up NFL draft. It seems like we have been striking out as of late, hopefully we hit gold and bring in a bunch of play makers. I feel like it is our turn, our turn to be great enough to win the SB.


Anonymous said... Oct 14, 2010, 9:18:00 AM

Just one more point to make,

STEROIDS are proven to make you deteriorate from the inside out. Shawne Merriman is a perfect example why kids should stay away from that garbage. Once Shawne got off the JUICE nigga just ain't been the same.

Anonymous said... Oct 14, 2010, 10:32:00 AM

it's like this right here when you don't sign and put your best player's on the field you are not going to win without Vincent Jackson Antonio Gates gets triple teamed what does that say about our other receivers? "garbage" and without Mc Neal you see where Philip Rivers spends alot of the game on his back. A. J. smith should be fired, bring somebody in here that want's to win get rid of the lord with no rings

KC said... Oct 14, 2010, 1:24:00 PM

I'd like to give the team kudos for implementing the SyncSeer system at Qualcomm; it shows that they value the fan experience. Read the article on at

Anonymous said... Oct 14, 2010, 2:16:00 PM

Does anyone else remember when Merriman did the press conference and promised we would hear more and he would sue the company that tainted his supplement? Unfortunately, I fell for it bait line and sinker at the time. I guess my heart forced my mind to believe his garbage excuse. It's for the best that he's gone from San Diego, just wish he would have had one last good season this year. He just wasn't the same beast without the chemical help.

winslow fan

BoltFan in NY said... Oct 15, 2010, 10:57:00 AM

I mentioned in a previous BoltHype comment how tough it is to watch LaDanian and Cromartie all of the sudden play spectacular football once again... only for Rex Ryan instead of Norv Turner. If the Jets end up with Merriman ...and who knows, maybe VJ - I wouldn't be surprised to those guys pour-it-on all of the sudden too. God help me if that happens... I may have to retire all three of my Chargers jerseys and become a Jets fan! :::shuddering at the thought::: Look, can't we just get Rex Ryan to leave the Jets and come to San Diego? THAT... would make me happy! And yes... A.J. is an A-hole.

arnie said... Oct 15, 2010, 1:58:00 PM

to Boltfan in NY
Rex Ryan interviewed to be our head coach. And Norv landed the job. Rex, never had a chance. now looking back on things and looking at the present, Rex AFC appearance, and 4-1 this season. Norv one and done (against the Jets) and 2-3 this season. Another AJ Smith (buddy pick) decision. Ted Cortrell another (buddy pick) he "insisted" be the DC here.

Give it time. The AJ era is starting to lose it's appeal, and will soon be gone, when his contract expires, along with all his buddies. ;)

arnie said... Oct 15, 2010, 3:03:00 PM

Oh about the post, it's been rumored that more than a few players are "un-happy" under the current management. it's been long believed that the players understand they can't decide who's head coach either. so what do you do? you DO YOUR JOB, and that's play football.

you work hard and you'll be rewarded. screw up and you're that much closer to the door.
Under the current management, this hasn't been the case. there are guys and players that were called out and they still got to start and play. their are players that have done nothing since they were signed, and yet they are still retained. But if you go to the pro-bowl or prove you can play as a veteran at a high level, you get released, traded, lowballed, or insulted with a one year tender.

"I am AJ Smith, and you cannot strong arm me."
Note to AJ; You are the GM and it's your job to negotiate and put the best players on the field, to fulfill your obligation, to bring a championship to this organization.

Merriman's departure is sad but a fact of the biz. However Brees was released " as a fact of the biz" and we know the end of that story. (see 09' Superbowl)
VJ: Players make poor choices, so do people. But what's great is we get tomorrow, or next year to start over. VJ has proven he's a piece to the SB puzzle. The bunk about no new contracts because of the CBA, i didn't buy it and Neither did VJ (see MM's deal). he's proven he's worth a lot more than what they are paying him. Maybe not Marshal money, but at least talk and get in the parking lot (again see MM's deal).
MM: It didn't have to come to this. All MM has done is go to the pro-bowl, get hurt and go to the pro-bowl again. All the while protecting your $94 mil's QB's blindside. What did you have to gain by playing hardball? He's been nothing but a stellar player on and "OFF" the field. He was unhappy about the tender, and he should be it was insulting. So you lose nothing by sitting down and talking.

peace out

Anonymous said... Oct 16, 2010, 9:28:00 AM

I believe the contracts should be performance rewarded type basis. You give up sacks or you under perform fine, you make the say "base line" you over achieve score so many td's, int, sacks, tackles, dont give up sacks, I think all that should be incorporated into the contracts. I also believe the Dang owners need to lower ticket prices so everyone of all levels of income can come and experience the atm of a football game.

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