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Chargers' McNeill signs five-year extension

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Posted Oct. 14, 2010 @ 2:12 a.m. ET
By PFW staff

Updated Oct. 14, 2010 @ 2:12 a.m. ET
Posted Oct. 14, 2010 @ 1:23 a.m. ET

It took a holdout and then finally conceding that he'd sign his restricted free-agent tender, but Chargers OLT Marcus McNeill finally got what he wanted — a long-term contract.

Late Wednesday, McNeill agreed to a five-year contract extension that runs through 2015. The new deal is reportedly worth $48 million, with $24.5 million guaranteed, according to PFW Chargers correspondent and North County Times beat writer Scott Bair. His 2010 salary will reportedly increase by $1.8 million, in addition to the $444,705 salary provided by the tender he signed, after it was prorated for the five weeks he missed.

When McNeill hadn't signed his original $3.168 million tender by the June 15 deadline, the Chargers reduced the offer to 110 percent of his 2009 salary, or $630,000. Protesting the team's unwillingness to give him a long-term contract, McNeill held out through training camp. And when McNeill and teammate WR Vincent Jackson continued their holdouts, the team placed both on the roster-exempt list Aug. 22, meaning they would have to sit out three games once they signed contracts.

McNeill finally reported to the team Sept. 25 and signed his one-year tender. Meanwhile, Jackson continues his holdout, although ESPN reported late Wednesday that the NFL Players Association has advised Jackson to report by Oct. 31 to gain credit for an accrued season and avoid being a restricted free agent again next year.

The two-time Pro Bowler is expected to be active for Sunday's game at St. Louis, although it's uncertain whether he'll start.

"I'm not completely back in the starting unit yet," McNeill said after practice Wednesday. "I have a long way to go. I want to make sure my footwork and all my technique is completely salvageable before I step out on the field. There would be nothing worse than me to get out there unprepared and unready and trying to be protecting Philip's blind side. You can't have that, so me and (Brandyn) Dombrowski definitely are going to go back and forth on everything to make sure everything is right before I get a chance to step back into that starting position."

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