Despite their inabilities to sign first round draft pick Phillip Rivers, the Chargers stepped up to the plate for running back LaDainian Tomlinson, agreeing to a contract extension which would make Tomlinson the highest paid running back in NFL history.
The deal, which is expected to be finalized this weekend, is reported to be a six-year pact worth roughly $60 million, with $21 million in incentives. Earlier in the year the record was set when former Broncos running back Clinton Portis signed a $50 million, eight-year deal with the Washington Redskins.
The Chargers, who opens up their preseason schedule Saturday night against the Indianapolis Colts, are not taking any chances with their high priced star, head coach Marty Schottenheimer has announced Tomlinson will not dress for the game. Others sitting out include linebacker Donnie Edwards, defensive linemen Adrian Dingle and DeQuincy Scott, wide receiver Tim Dwight and quarterback Doug Flutie, who underwent surgery on his left knee on Thursday.
Despite a legendary head coach and a bona fide superstar in the back field, it is extremely doubtful that San Diego can expect to climb out of the cellar of the AFC West anytime soon. A porous defense, an inadequate offense and a front office staff that make the Los Angeles Clippers look good, have all combined to rank San Diego as one of the worst run franchises in the NFL.
Still up in the air is the threat that team owner Alex Spanos will move the team to Los Angeles. This has been Spanos' bargaining chip throughout negotiations with the city, but it is beginning to wear thin. Moving the Chargers training camp to Carson was a blatant attempt to throw fear into the city of San Diego as the first step in relocation. Instead it seems to have backfired. His recent attempt to break the three-year lease at the Home Depot Center in Carson leaves both cities wondering if any of it was really worth it.
The saving grace may be the NFL's television blackout rule which will save millions of fans from both cities from enduring another long season of disappointments.
(The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the reporter and do not necessarily reflect those of this web site or it's publisher)