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Rams had Sproles visit scheduled; sign that the team will be active in free agency?

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  • Rams had Sproles visit scheduled; sign that the team will be active in free agency?

    by VanRam Turf Show

    It's officially Christmas Eve, for NFL fans that is, with the start of free agency and the trading period beginning tonight at Midnight. As for whether or not the St. Louis Rams will be players in the market remains to be seen, but there's an early sign that they might indeed be willing take a run at some big time players who fit their needs, Chargers RB Darren Sproles for instance.

    Last week word came that the Chargers would not make a RFA offer to RB Darren Sproles. They reversed course on that today, extending the highest tender possible to the running back. Sproles, who would have likely commanded big money on the free agent market, was scheduled to visit the Rams...and several other teams.

    Obviously, the idea would have been to use Sproles as sort of a 1a to Steven Jackson. Anyway, if you're looking for signs that Rams GM Billy Devaney is prepared to explore the free agent market, this is a good sign.

  • #2
    Re: Rams had Sproles visit scheduled; sign that the team will be active in free agenc

    Chargers keep Sproles, release DT Williams
    By BERNIE WILSON, AP Sports Writer

    SAN DIEGO (AP)—The San Diego Chargers made two surprise moves in the hours before free agency began, deciding to keep speedy little Darren Sproles(notes) and releasing veteran defensive tackle Jamal Williams(notes).

    The Chargers placed the maximum first- and third-round tender on Sproles on Thursday, offering him a contract for $7,283,000 for next season. If Sproles signs an offer sheet with another team, San Diego would have the right to match the offer or receive first- and third-round draft picks as compensation for losing him.

    Agent Gary Wichard said the tender will allow the two sides to continue talking about a long-term deal.

    Six days ago, a person familiar with the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Chargers hadn’t made it official, told The Associated Press that the team had decided not to tender Sproles, allowing him to test the free agent market.

    Wichard said there was “tremendous” interest in Sproles around the league, which may have led the Chargers to change their mind.

    Williams has been one of San Diego’s key run-stuffers for 12 seasons. He sustained a triceps injury in the 2009 season opener and missed the rest of the year. He also has a history of knee injuries.

    The Chargers also made first-and third-round tenders to outside linebacker Shawne Merriman(notes), left tackle Marcus McNeill(notes) and wide receivers Malcom Floyd(notes) and Vincent Jackson(notes).

    Backup running back Michael Bennett also was released, leaving the Chargers thin at that position. LaDainian Tomlinson(notes) was released last week after a brilliant nine-year run with the Bolts. The Chargers are expected to take a running back high in the draft.

    It's Jim not Chris


    • #3
      Re: Rams had Sproles visit scheduled; sign that the team will be active in free agenc

      Rams wont be signng Sproles. Williams wasnt too bad last year


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        Chargers expecting to use first-round tender on Malcolm Floyd
        by shower beers
        per rotoworld, via San Diego Tribune:

        The Chargers are expected to use a first-round tender on restricted free agent Malcom Floyd.
        Floyd played 2009 under a second-round tender that paid him $1.545 million, so he'll get a sizable raise at the higher level and also likely be safe. Floyd beat out Chris Chambers to be San Diego's starting split end last season.


        Usually not very newsworthy in itself, but it's becoming strikingly clear that teams are preparing to lock up their assets in anticipation of a very small pool of UFAs that will be available this offseason. It looks like slim pickins' this year.
        -02-24-2010, 11:24 AM
      • rams 24/7
        Shawn Merriman To Be Waived By San Diego Chargers
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        "Vikings WR Randy Moss may not be the only Pro Bowler who will hit the NFL's waiver wire this afternoon.
        Chargers LB Shawne Merriman is scheduled to take a formality physical with the team today and provided he passes for his injured calf will be waived by San Diego, has learned.
        Merriman was placed on special injured reserve list earlier this season that called for the team to release him upon him passing a physical. If he fails it then he'll remain with the Chargers until he can pass a physical. Like Moss, because Merriman will be released after the NFL's trade deadline he is required to go through the waiver process rather than become an immediate unrestricted free agent.
        If a team claims him, he is owed approximately $1.7-$1.8 million in remaining salary for this season. The former Pro Bowler will become an unrestricted free agent after this season."

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        -11-02-2010, 08:47 PM
      • RamWraith
        Jue not an option
        by RamWraith
        Associated Press

        SAN DIEGO -- Safety Bhawoh Jue signed a three-year contract with the San Diego Chargers on Thursday, the first foray into the free-agent market for the AFC West champions.

        Financial terms were not immediately available.

        Jue was an unrestricted free agent from Green Bay, where he had 34 tackles and an interception last season. He could replace starting free safety Jerry Wilson, who is an unrestricted free agent.

        The Packers used Jue as a backup last season at both strong safety and free safety
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      • Nick
        CHARGERS - Unsigned players Gates and Merriman sit out camp
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        SAN DIEGO -- All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates was a no-show when San Diego Chargers veterans reported for training camp Thursday, joining holdout rookie Shawne Merriman as the team's only unsigned players.

        Gates, who went from being an undrafted rookie to All-Pro in just two seasons, has yet to sign a $380,000 contract the Chargers tendered him as an exclusive rights free agent during the offseason. Gates can't report until he signs either the tender or a long-term deal, which the team says it has been working on since last season.

        Asked for a comment Thursday evening, coach Marty Schottenheimer said: "You know, it's all part of this business."

        The Chargers, who reached the playoffs last year for the first time in nine seasons, have their first full-squad practice on Friday morning.

        Chargers general manager A.J. Smith didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

        But during an interview on Monday, he said talks with Gates' agent have been "ongoing since midseason" and that "communication's fantastic."

        "Obviously we're trying to work out a contract with him," Smith said. "My philosophy -- pay our own people. I still believe that. There's a lot of other people I've got targeted right now we'll be talking with. It's something that's very important to me, I think, in building a football team. In saying that, both parties have to come together. We're working on it."

        Gates couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

        During a May minicamp, Gates said his agent has asked for "market value," which could mean something similar to the just more than $4 million a year Tony Gonzalez averages in his deal with Kansas City.

        Gates had 13 touchdown catches last year to set the NFL single-season record for tight ends, breaking a mark shared by Mike Ditka, Wesley Walls, Todd Christensen and Jerry Smith. He was a big reason the Chargers went 12-4 and won the AFC West, as he led the team with 81 catches for 964 yards. He also came up big on third downs, with 358 yards and six touchdowns. He joined teammates Drew Brees and LaDainian Tomlinson as Pro Bowlers.

        Gates didn't play football in college. He was a star power forward at Kent State, helping take the Golden Flashes within one win of the Final Four in 2002.

        Merriman missed the first four training camp practices, which were for rookies and selected veterans. He also skipped all offseason workouts, worried that he might get hurt before he signed a contract. An outside linebacker from Maryland, he was the 12th pick overall in April's draft.
        -07-29-2005, 10:48 AM
      • r8rh8rmike
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        Philip Rivers is at the center of the most fascinating storyline of the offseason. But the Chargers quarterback isn't leaving San Diego yet, and its business as usual around the Chargers for now.

        Rivers was at the start of the offseason training program Monday, NFL Media's Alex Flanagan reported. New Chargers receiver Steve Johnson, for one, said he was looking forward to catching Rivers' passes on Tuesday. But will Johnson still be catching his passes in Week 1?

        One of Rivers' most notable former teammates, NFL Media's LaDainian Tomlinson, doesn't think so.

        "You never want to trade your franchise quarterback. You know that's never the case. However, in this situation, they might have no choice but to do so," Tomlinson said Monday on NFL Network's NFL Total Access. "Because I don't know if Philip (Rivers) wants to be there anymore. I think he has lost confidence in the organization. He's seen a lot of changes going on and the L.A. thing is valid. Him not wanting to go to L.A. is very valid."

        Tomlinson points towards a larger divide between the quarterback and the organization than just a potential move up Interstate 5.

        "The parts around him keep on moving. The receiver corps keeps on changing. Eddie Royal is now gone," Tomlinson noted. "We talked about this before with Vincent Jackson leaving years ago. There are so many parts that are leaving. When Philip is looking around in that locker room and he doesn't see anyone that he's familiar with other than Antonio Gates.

        "Now to that point, Antonio Gates next year is a free agent, Eric Weddle is gonna be up. Next year the Chargers have a lot of decisions to make with a lot of key guys. So Philip could be looking at the situation and thinking 'we're not close to winning a championship anytime soon.' "

        That can't be easy for Chargers fans to read. Kevin Acee of the U-T San Diego also wrote last week that it's time to trade Rivers, indicating that Rivers could retire before he played in Los Angeles. Tomlinson's words echo the notion that Rivers wants out.

        Rivers declined to speak to the media on Monday, but the message coming from San Diego is unmistakable.
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