Nick Canepa thinks that Dean Spanos should fly in on a magic unicorn and end the Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill holdouts. He cites Spanos' intervention in the 2008 Ladanian Tomlinson re-negotiation (it was actually after the 2008 season in early 2009) as evidence of the possibility of it working now in 2010. Huh?
The only similarity of these two situations is that the Chargers are trying to save money while maintaining competitiveness.
There are some pretty big differences between that situation and this one. I don't think that Spanos has the ability to reach these guys. I'm not even sure the he WANTS to reach out to these guys. For starters, LT was the face of the franchise, the greatest player in team history, whose career was sunsetting. Even with their Pro-Bowl value, the holdouts don't come close in emotional terms, The gravitas of LT's greatness demanded intervention.
Secondly, LT proved to be a bit more reasonable, less financially hungry, and more loyal than our current holdouts. LT was already set for life, wanted to finish his career here, and had a burning desire to go out as a champion. You can't say any of those things about MM or VJ. LT's situation was far less dire for him if the re-negotiation didn't happen. If he let the Chargers cut him, he could have easily found a suitor for his services. He was choosing between loyalty/championship potential or just making money elsewhere; and he chose the former. MM and VJ are completely stuck, and can not negotiate elsewhere. They are choosing between a small contract or no money/no football; all in the hopes of a very large contract. You can debate the merits of their injury concerns and desire for long term security, but in the end, it's just about money. There's no ego for Spanos to soothe, no emotional appeal, no trade rumors to quell, nothing at all for him to work with.
“Well,” Smith says, “all I can tell you is that the four of us (Spanos, Smith, capologist Ed McGuire and head coach Norv Turner) are together on everything we do. I think Dean believes in me and lets me do my job, and I appreciate that.
“I don’t inform him of things we’ve done. Everything is discussed way in advance, and he asks a lot of questions. It’s not blind faith. Dean is very much involved; I feel like he’s a member of our staff. He knows me well. He knows my philosophy. He knows what I’m thinking. I have been to the principal’s office, you know. I’m not perfect. This is not my structure. This is Dean Spanos’ structure.”
Let's assume for a minute that Dean Spanos wants to, and has the ability to reach these guys, what is he trying to coax them into? Is he extending the lowered offers with the promise of negotiation in good faith on extensions? That message will be drowned out by the two and a half million dollars each player has let get away. Is he going to go 'over' AJ and put the original tender offers back on the table? The AJ Smith quotes in Canepa's article would indicate that Spanos has been in lock step agreement about the origianl tenders, threatenening and lowering them, and then not budging. If he extends the high offers back he cripples the credibility AJ is establishing. It just doesn't work.
That’s the perception," says Smith, indicating it may not have been exactly the case. "You have to get that from Dean Spanos.
In the end, Canepa winds up again quoting AJ, downplaying Spanos' involvement in the LT situation. Isn't he contradicting the point of his whole column? I would love for Dean to have some sort of brilliant good cop routine ready to go, but the reality is that there is nothing he can offer this situation.