With the LaDainian Tomlinson holdout reaching its third day, the San Diego Chargers went shopping for a running back, agreeing to terms with Madre Hill of NFL Europe's Berlin Thunder.
Hill, selected by Cleveland in the seventh round of the 1999 draft, becomes only the second healthy back in Chargers camp, behind rookie free agent Terry Witherspoon. Ironically Witherspoon was sidelined on Wednesday with cramps, leaving the offensive unit without a single healthy body at the backfield position.
Others backs missing in action include Terrell Fletcher, lock-in for the starting position, who is unavailable until late August, following hernia surgery. Jermaine Fazande continues to nurse a painful groin muscle and Mukala Sikyala is sidelined with a pulled hamstring, suffered during Tuesday's practice. No timetable has been set for either player's return.
Tomlinson, the two-time NCAA rushing leader from TCU, was touted as the Chargers tailback of the future. Unfortunately he has not been able to come to terms with the team, and continues to holdout, as does quarterback Drew Brees, the first pick of the second round.
Tom Condon, agent for both Brees and Tomlinson, has been negotiating with team officials for several weeks, but has yet to reach a monetary agreement he feels is acceptable for either client.
Chargers negotiator, Ed McGuire, lays the blame solely on Condon's shoulders, claiming the agent has not contacted him for the past two days, and had not returned any counterproposals.
Rookies and selected veterans have been practicing since Monday, with the full squad scheduled to hold its first practice Friday morning.
Chargers sign NFL Europe running back
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