While I know many of you are a tad annoyed with Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis acting like stereotypes of modern, greedy athletes, I can give you at least one small ray of sunshine: At least the situation is not on par with what San Diego is doing to Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill.
If you haven't been following the news out of San Diego, here is a brief synopsis from PFT:
San Diego Chargers restricted free agents Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill are reportedly making financial preparations not only to sit out for the first 10 weeks of the 2010 season, but also to sit through all of 2011 without getting paid if the owners lock out the players.
Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Jackson and McNeill have made financial preparations in case a lockout wipes out the 2011 season.
Jackson and McNeill both declined to sign their one-year tender offers before midnight last night, which means both will have those offers reduced from more than $3 million to about $600,000. But if they both play only six weeks (which is the minimum needed to earn an accrued season toward unrestricted free agency), Jackson will make $206,000 and McNeill $212,000 in 2010.
One year tenders for players that are the caliber of Jackson and (especially) McNeill is insulting. McNeill is a top five left tackle in this game. He protects the blindside of the franchise player, Philip Rivers. He's a helluva lot better than the 49ers Joe Staley, and he just got a $42 million dollar deal last year.
It's pretty obvious the Chargers are working on the cheap. The Colts went through a similar situation to this with Antoine Bethea, but managed to get something done last week. Meanwhile, the Chargers and their odious owner, Dean Spanos, seem to not give a crap about locking up two very essential players.
Earlier this off-season, a San Deigo radio station floated out a rumor that the Colts were looking to trade for Marcus McNeill pre-NFL Draft. With the situation between McNeill and the Chargers deteriorating the way it has, maybe there was some truth to that rumor. Perhaps Bill Polian called his old buddy from their days with the Buffalo Bills, Chargers GM A.J. Smith, and proposed a few trade scenarios that would take McNeill off their hands. In exchange, the Chargers would get some kind of compensation.
Obviously, the deal did not happen, and the Chargers are stuck with a left tackle who might not play for them in 2010. Things have gotten so serious that the Bolts just signed left tackle Tra Thomas to a one-year deal.
From our point of view, this situation only helps the Colts. The Chargers will not win much in 2010 without Jackson or McNeill. They are also without Jamal Williams, Antonio Cromartie, and LaDainian Tomlinson. Oh, and sans the steroids, Shawne Merriman is an ordinary player.
With the Colts unwilling to give new deals to Reggie and Robert, it is very doubtful the team brass would swing a big trade for a player like McNeill and then sign him to a big extension. However, anything that hurts the Chargers helps the Colts, and right now it seems the Bolts are a shell of the team they once were.