This morning, our pal Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Chargers have issued ultimatums to RFAs Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill that go something like this: Sign your tenders or we’ll exercise our right to reduce your offers on June 15.
San Diego GM A.J. Smith, a notoriously tough negotiator, confirmed that the letters had been sent to the players. The rules say on June 15, if the players haven’t signed their tenders, then the team can cut the number on them to 110 percent of their 2009 salary. For Jackson, that would mean a paycut from $3.268 million to $583,000. For McNeill, it’d mean going from $3.168 million to $600,000.
So San Diego could save millions but risk poisoning negotiations with their left tackle and No. 1 receiver. And you can bring this back to the Patriots in that they’ll face a similar decision on what to do on June 15 with Logan Mankins.
Mankins’s tender is for $3.268 million. His base salary in 2009 was $1.4 million, meaning on that day, if Mankins remains unsigned, the Patriots can cut his tender to 110 percent of that — $1.54 million. That’s a difference of $1.728 million.
Coincidentally (or not), the Patriots mandatory full-squad minicamp starts June 15, which is something we’ve gone over before. So if Mankins doesn’t report for the minicamp, he risks having his salary for 2010 sliced by about 53 percent. At the very least, that’ll test a player’s resolve.
Would the Patriots do what San Diego is threatening to do with McNeill and Jackson? It’ll be pretty interesting to see. The team can make its point, but it would risk alienating the player and making a situation that already seems a little contentious toxic. We’ll have answers soon enough.