Negotiations slow to a crawl

The San Diego Chargers have to feel a sense of urgency on the eve of training camp. Their top two picks in the 2004 NFL Draft are still unsigned. Philip Rivers, selected fourth and traded to the Bolts, and Igor Olshansky, their second round pick are still on the sidelines as the equipment is ready to be donned.

With the news that Eli Manning has agreed in principle, it should speed up negotiations with Philip Rivers, right?

Not exactly.

With Manning reportedly raking in the bucks and the Giants allocated fourth slot money, the Rivers' camp may be digging their heels in.

How do you compete with a $20 million bonus? Camp may not start on time for the former NC State quarterback. He wants in, but his agent Jimmy Sexton is trying to procure the best deal possible.

Igor Olshansky, on the other hand, has no reason to be out...or does he?

Olshansky is looking at a starting gig -- provided he can make it to camp on time. The Russian run stuffer is raw but the Chargers are salivating at his strength and the potential nightmare he will pose in the 3-4.

According to his agent, Bruce Tollner, there is no deal and listening to his tired voice it did not appear imminent.

"Nothing yet," Tollner replied.

When asked if Olshansky would be in camp on time Tollner was non-committal. He dared not say it would happen. When pressured with a leading question, ‘With camp starting tomorrow you would think the Chargers would have a sense of urgency?'

"You would think," Tollner smoothly remarked.

And what is the hold up? Contract length considering all of the three year deals flying out of Murphy Canyon?

"That is still being discussed." Tollner said.

As Thursday crawls on it appears the Chargers are no closer to signing either player than they were two weeks ago when negotiations began. On the eve of camp it is not something that fans hoping for the first glimpses of their new favorite players want to hear.

Luckily the night is long and Ed McGuire handles the talks. He is not required up in Carson where A.J. Smith will be surveying the troops. It is time to buckle down and pull an all-nighter to get this done.

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