Chargers – The Cost of Doing Business – Bad Result

Posted by on June 3rd, 2015  •  0 Comments  • 

It should come as no surprise, what the San Diego Chargers are doing with their top defensive player, Eric Weddle.
If history counts for anything, then this is business as normal.  And if that history is to be remembered, it’s likely to end badly, costing the team on the field.
The Chargers decision not to offer a contract extension in this offseason, after initially saying they would, smacks of disrespect to a player who has done everything plus more for the franchise over the course of his career, on and off the field.  Like all issues with agents, a contract offer becomes a negotiating chip.  The dollar offered seldom winds up being the dollar spent, but that is part of the game.
Why would the Chargers diss Weddle at this point, creating a distraction for the 2015-season?  Simply put, they have a dollar value on that position, and they are not going over that dollar value, and it would have been that way had they made an offer.
Weddle is finishing up a 4-year deal, the second he signed with the club, that has averaged 8M per season.  He established himself after his first deal was up,  was allowed to test the open market, got a bid from the Houston Texans.  It forced San Diego to respond and ‘overpay’ Weddle on the last deal.  Granted he developed into a rock-solid trustworthy leader and talent, but there was no rationale for paying him that kind of money early on in this deal.
So now because the last offer was mishandled, they will likely let him test the market, Weddle has become Darren Sproles and Vincent Jackson.  The Chargers mishandled them to, in the AJ Smith era.  Sproles was franchised tag at 7M after two great years, well above his pay-scale level.  On he has gone and done well at New Orleans and Philadelphia.  Jackson was jerked around, when he could have been signed earlier, and next thing you knew, he was gone to Tampa Bay on a mega contract.
Had the Chargers treated them fairly, not overpaid Sproles and lowballed VJ, they might still be here.  The team lost them, and the franchise has never been the same.  Now a repeat again, this time with Weddle.
There’s no way they are going to pay him on a four year extension at his age.  Call it the Ed Reed-Baltimore Ravens syndrome.  There’s no way they are going to pay him 10M a year going forward either.  And you cannot link Weddle to an age-injury notation, this is not a perennially hurt Troy Polamalu player either.
Yes the franchise has to take care of Philip Rivers, and maybe Corey Liuget.  But they did take care of Donald Butler and King Dunlap, and no one believes those guys are as important to the team as Weddle has become.  But the cap keeps going up, older players will be leaving, so there is money to be moved around.
Another odd happenstance is what Mike McCoy did, telling his players this week before the OTA’s began, to move on from Eric Weddle, as if he was just another name on a blackboard.  Wrong assumption.  Even more wrong is a coach getting involved in a player’s contract situation infront of other players.  Yes McCoy may be management, but he has a responsibility to keep his team together.
He just took sides in a contract dispute, in essence telling the players, ‘your contract does not over-ride loyalty to the team’.  The man, who does not like distractions, just created one, that could split the lockeroom into us-vs-them, players downstairs vs people upstairs.  You do remember the AJ Smith era of barbed wire fences in that building, “you are a Charger on a year-to-year basis”.
It must be some deep-rooted philosophy in that Chargers Park building, that you are our property, and we will do with you what we want, when we want, and the price we want.  All fine and good, except there will be options out there for Eric Weddle to experiment with.  Can you say New England Patriots-Bill Belicheck, or the Indianapolis Colts, or Green Bay Packers?  This is not the era of Halas-Paul Brown-Al Davis either. The GM-Tom Telesco should know that.
If you don’t learn from history, you are bound to repeat it.  The Chargers appear headed down that road with Eric Weddle, in addition to the rumored road they may be travelling to Los Angeles.

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