San Diego Chargers Daily Links: March 7, 2012

HOUSTON: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers winces in pain after being sacked by outside linebacker Mario Williams #90 of the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Chargers stadium week in review: Puzzling - Matthew T. Hall
In San Diego, @Mattable, a.k.a. Matt Awbrey, an aide for San Diego Councilman Kevin Faulconer, tweeted that Chargers' special counsel Mark Fabiani had told a gathering of the business-oriented Lincoln Club of San Diego County on Feb. 29 that the "pieces to the puzzle are now all on the table" for a Chargers stadium. Piecing them together, of course, is another story.

Draftniks: Ever the Experts and Always on the Clock - Mike Tanier
Draftniks are N.F.L. draft enthusiasts, speculators who prefer gathering information about rookie prospects to watching basketball or hockey or enjoying a more socially acceptable hobby like Dungeons and Dragons.

NFL players kick off Middle East USO tour - Chargers.com
San Diego Chargers linebacker TAKEO SPIKES, Carolina Panthers punter JASON BAKER, former NFL linebacker DHANI JONES, Cleveland Browns center ALEX MACK and Houston Texans tackle ERIC WINSTON are currently overseas spending time with service members in the annual renewal of the NFL-USO program.

Not franchising Jackson is major risk that could zap the Bolts - Clark Judge
Basically, the Chargers believe they can keep Jackson by signing him to a long-term deal that will cost them less ... perhaps significantly less ... than the $13.7 million he stood to make this season had they designated him their franchise player. I don't know that they're right. What I do know is that they had no choice.

Bolts to start with offensive line - Michael Gehlken
The Chargers have begun contract negotiations with center Nick Hardwick and left tackle Jared Gaither, set to become unrestricted free agents if not re-signed by March 13 when the new league year starts. How talks progress could dictate how competitively the team can bid for other top free agents — such as wide receiver Vincent Jackson — on the open market

Chargers Have Assigned An (Unknown) Price They Are Willing To Pay For Mario Williams - Ernie Padaon
That price tag better be "The RICHEST defensive contract in NFL history" status OR we are not even going to sniff a chance at Mario Williams.

The Shutdown 5: Best players who avoided the franchise tag - MJD
1. Mario Williams, DE, Houston Texans. If the New York Giants have proved anything, it's that a monster pass rush is the key to building a championship-caliber defense. Teams are salivating over him. If the Texans can't lock him up and he gets to the open market, he may become the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.

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