Was Wade Phillips Asked?

With the release of Marcellus Wiley, a move that saves the team little in 2004, one has to wonder if defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was asked his opinion. He is the new kid on the block and has brought with him a new defense. But does he have any say? Phillips was the same guy who got so much out of Wiley back in Buffalo yet he was not given a chance to make his reclamation project.

On Tuesday, Marcellus Wiley was released, with several others, into unrestricted free agency. A week ago the agent for Wiley revealed that management had not spoken to him about a restructure with Wiley. That was the warning shot to what was about to transpire.

"We did not (try and restructure Wiley)," AJ Smith said during a press conference with reporters. "We made a determination that we were moving on."

Smith talked about the new defense, how it was a disaster last year and how Wade Phillips was brought in to reestablish the greatness. He talked about how this was an "organizational" move.

It wasn't. It was correcting a move that was made. After a 13 sack season in 2001, Wiley had nine over the past two seasons.

"Marcellus has been with us three years now and all I can say is tough decisions are made all the time around the league," Smith added. "We just felt as an organization that we were going to move in another direction."

Wiley moved on because he was seen as a bad seed. He was no longer the leader they envisioned on defense. He cared about rapping and talking more than his commitment to football. Or, that is what the Chargers thought.

Phillips had no say. Is there any doubt that he would have loved to bring Wiley back to prominence?

Wiley didn't perform over the two year span known as Dale Lindsey. With savings that were negligible, why not see if the tank had anything left? Why not give Phillips a veteran tool to work with?

The savings – roughly one million…one million. This had nothing to do with money.

This had everything to do with his public outcry in season over Drew Brees, among other various things. Team loyalty – it is a trait coveted by Marty Schottenheimer. Wiley didn't conform.

Smith didn't talk to Wiley…his parting words:

"We appreciate his efforts, but we just decided as an organization, we decided to move on."


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