The San Diego Chargers made two signings late last week that are a declaration of war against star WR Vincent Jackson and OT Marcus McNeill. Andrew Brandt of National Football Post does a far better job describing that than I could, but as we approach the June 15 deadline that indicates whether holdouts for Jackson and McNeill will linger into the season, here are some thoughts of San Diego’s contingency plans of WR Josh Reed and OT Tra Thomas. We’ll compare these signings to others in June in an upcoming post.
Both Reed and Thomas are solid pros, but neither is more than a fill-in at this point in his career. Thomas lost playing time to rookie Eugene Monroe in Jacksonville last year, but his years of experience at left tackle in Philadelphia are what San Diego’s looking at. If McNeill holds out, Thomas has the know-how to be a stopgap option. But Thomas, who never was a dancer out on the edge, has lost mobility as he’s gotten older and could be exploited by speed rushers. Reed was a slot receiver in Buffalo, and while he can catch the ball reliably, he won’t break many plays. But if Jackson holds out, San Diego needed some veterans who could at least run the right patterns, and Reed fills that bill. The more interesting things about both signings is not what these players bring but what it says about the Chargers’ hard-line stance against Jackson and McNeill.