Maybe Archie and Eli knew something

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by Dayton Cowboy, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. Dayton Cowboy

    Dayton Cowboy Active Member

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    Looks like the chargers are not making their OL happy.. 2 players from the OL that did not report

    Ball, Fonoti absent at Chargers minicamp wire reports

    SAN DIEGO (June 11, 2004) -- The San Diego Chargers welcomed new left tackle Roman Oben, only to have two other projected starters from their shaky offensive line stay away from the opening day of minicamp.

    Center Jason Ball was a no-show because he wants to be traded, and guard Toniu Fonoti, who missed all of last year with injuries, was absent without an excuse. Star running back LaDainian Tomlinson wasn't particularly pleased, since the Chargers' biggest rebuilding project is the line.

    "Both of those guys, we absolutely need them here because they're starters on the offensive line," said Tomlinson, who rushed for 1,645 yards last year despite San Diego's nondescript line.

    Ball had been asking for a new contract, and now he's demanding a trade. The Chargers, an NFL-worst 4-12 last year, declined the request.

    "I think he should be here," Tomlinson said. "In my opinion, that's no way to handle a problem, really. If you're not here, you're not able to talk to people. You're not able to get things done. If he were holding out and still communicating, that's a different story. When you're holding out and you don't say anything to anybody, it's hard to get things done."

    Ball has started 21 games in his first two NFL seasons. An undrafted free agent, he started the last 13 games of his rookie season in 2002 after Cory Raymer was hurt. Ball made eight starts last year but missed eight others with an ankle injury.

    "He instructed me to ask for a trade," said his agent, Peter Schaffer. "I did, and they declined. Jason feels pretty strongly about his position."

    Ball is an exclusive-rights free agent who was tendered a contract for next season, which he didn't sign.

    General manager A.J. Smith said Ball needs to show up before he'll talk about a new deal.

    "Jason Ball's pretty much established he'd like some more money. We're not going to do that right now. Just come back to work and we'll discuss it. His position is, 'Give me a contract first, then I'll show up.' No, that's not going to happen."

    Fonoti was at the Chargers' complex earlier in the week.

    "We're expecting him to be here, and he's not right now," Smith said.

    Coach Marty Schottenheimer said all he knew was that Fonoti was in Houston. "He's supposed to be here," Schottenheimer said.

    Fonoti was a second-round pick out of Nebraska in 2002 and started 14 games as a rookie. He missed all of last season with a foot injury. Listed at 350 pounds, he's battled his weight in his two pro seasons.

    Fonoti was absent from some voluntary workouts earlier this year due to an illness in the family.

    Oben was acquired from Tampa Bay on June 9 for a fifth-round draft pick in 2005.

    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
  2. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

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    The player I feel the most sorry for is Ladainian Tomlinson. He's a great back who is going to end up wasting most of his career on a mediocre squad. No telling what he could do on a better team.
  3. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Geez, it certainly sound like institutional malaise through and through in San Diego.

    From ownership and concerns about the team staying put right on down.

    That article has the "rats abandoning the sinking ship" red flag all over it.
  4. mcnuttz

    mcnuttz New Member

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    Isn't this guy one of AB's agents as well? Damn, it must suck to have to put up with so much crap with your players. I bet that guy can't sleep between AB's antics and this cat whining to get moved out of SD....
  5. AJM1613

    AJM1613 New Member

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    I could see the Chargers competeing in 2006. If they draft Mike Williams next year, and possibly someone like Rolle (depending on how bad the Giants do) then they could be very good. This is only if Rivers shows he was worth picking 4th overall.

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