Luis Castillo's Paycheck, Antonio Gates's Toe, and Other San Diego Chargers News

Tosten HeathSenior Analyst IJuly 22, 2008

Luis Castillo is now the sixth-highest paid defensive lineman in the NFL.

According to junkie Adam Schefter, Castillo signed a five-year contract extension that will pay him up to $43 million, with $17.5 million guaranteed. This will keep him in San Diego until 2014.

That's all good and dandy, but I think there's a lot of interest stuff possibly behind this signing.

Castillo got a new contract before Shawne Merriman. Does that seem odd to you? They both were from the same draft class and both have become studs, but Merriman, possibly the best player on the whole team, is still on his rookie deal, while Castillo is getting paid $40 million.

Why would the front office choose to update Castillo's contract before Merriman's? It's not like Castillo was demanding a pay increase.

I have a feeling that the Bolts see the end coming for Jamal Williams and want to make sure they will have Castillo in town to anchor that defensive line when Jamal is gone.

Maybe Williams's knee injury isn't coming along like they had hoped. Maybe he's wearing down; I wouldn't be surprised, he's a 350-pound man who's played 10 seasons in this league.

His whole rehab situation has been a bit hush-hush all offseason, though that could be attributed to Gates, Rivers, and Tomlinson being three bigger names coming off injuries as well. Whatever the reason, Castillo's signing makes me a little nervous about Jamal Williams's future.


Rookies reported to training camp on Monday and Antoine Cason was a no-show.

A.J. Smith is optimistic, saying, "Talks have been great; (the) relationship is great," but he indicated that the current offer proposed by the organization is the team's final one.

Smith supposedly drafted Cason specifically to stop Wes Welker, in a move to satisfy A.J.'s alleged obsession with beating the Patriots, so I don't doubt that a deal will get done soon.


Norv Turner thinks Antonio Gates has a good chance of playing in Week One. Oh wait, he also considers Gates a possible option to start the year on the PUP list.

Why so mysterious, Norv? Yesterday, Turner was quoted as being optimistic about Gates's health, saying that he's right on schedule, yet today he thinks he could start the season Physically Unable to Perform list.

What I think?

Norv Turner has no clue. When a doctor or a trainer comes out and says something about Antonio's situation, I'll listen up. Turner though, is just spurting things that sound good to the media, and in reality, Gates's toe is still untested and up in the air.


Other Bolts Briefs:

Eric Parker didn't show up to camp. So basically he just did nothing on his banged-up calf at home rather than doing nothing on his banged-up calf at practice. 
Nick Hardwick is expected to miss at least the first month. I know realize that the "super" in Super Chargers means super unhealthy. 
Charlie Whitehurst will not be traded, says A.J. Smith. Why? You just re-signed Billy Volek. Do you just like Charlie's last name? Ok, that's valid.