McNeill ends holdout, signs tender

Posted Sept. 25, 2010 @ 2:07 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Updated Sept. 25, 2010 @ 3:50 p.m. ET

Chargers OLT Marcus McNeill, who had been holding out for a new contract, has signed his restricted free-agent tender, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

McNeill signed a tender that will pay him $407,000 this season, according to the Union-Tribune. He was originally tendered at the $3.168 million level, but when he failed to sign his tender by June 15, the Chargers reduced the tender to $630,000. He does not get paid for the games in which he's not on the active roster.

The Chargers had placed McNeill on the roster-exempt list before the start of the regular season, and that designation requires that he miss three games after signing his tender, although he will be allowed to practice with the team. As a result, McNeill will be allowed to play in Week Six, when the team plays at St. Louis.

The Pro Bowl left tackle stayed away from training camp and all offseason activities as a protest for not being offered a long-term contract. The fifth-year player became a restricted free agent, rather than unrestricted, because of the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the new rules governing free agency that took effect as a result.

"We're all very happy that Marcus McNeill has decided to sign his tender and go back to work," general manager A.J. Smith said in a statement. "He has missed some time on the job, but we will be patient, get him up to speed and Coach (Norv Turner) will decide how quickly he gets on the field."

It's not known whether the Chargers have agreed to negotiate a long-term contract with McNeill now that he is back with the team. Meanwhile, disgruntled WR Vincent Jackson continues his holdout as Smith seeks a trade that he feels will compensate the team fairly.

In other Chargers moves Saturday, the team waived CB Dante Hughes and promoted RB Kevin Brinkley to the active roster.

The way we see it

This news brings a huge smile to Chargers QB Phillip Rivers' face. McNeill protects Rivers' blind side, and as a two-time Pro Bowler, he does it exceptionally well. OLT Brandyn Dombrowski will likely return to the bench once McNeill is active, which will almost certainly happen in Week Six. His return gives a huge boost to the Chargers' Super Bowl aspirations and will certainly give a lift to the offense.