Drama King: Have the Chargers Had the Most Drama-Filled Offseason?
This offseason has been one of the craziest in recent memory for a lot of teams. So many stars find themselves with new teams, and so many teams find themselves dealing with an ironic amount of contract disputes with the lack of salary caps next season.
No team seems to have had as much drama as the San Diego Chargers. The team has been turned upside down on account of several personnel issues over the last few months, and continued holdouts threaten to tear the team apart.
These moves have broken the fan base, and have put the potential of the team's Lombardi drive in jeopardy. Here is a quick list of the drama that has occurred over the last few months, and how they've affected the team and its following for better or for worse.
The Departure of LaDainian Tomlinson
This was a knife in the heart of a lot of San Diego fans. LT is a hero around San Diego and despite the fact that everyone expected his release, no one wanted to see LT leave.
That said, his departure frees up cap space in the future, and opens the roster spot for Ryan Mathews, who many herald as the next big superstar.
LT has managed to alienate a lot of his fan base because of his backlash against the Chargers and his vocal support for the Jets. That doesn't change the fact that LT will always be a big part of San Diego.
The Departure of Jamal Williams
While he may have been hampered by some injuries, Jamal Williams was the rock around which the Chargers built their defensive line. San Diego's run defense is different without the big man plugging up the middle.
It stings a little bit more for San Diego and its fans to see Williams go to division rival Denver.
The Departure of Antonio Cromartie
Most people saw this coming. Cromartie built his spectacular 2007 season on his risk taking and athletic ability, something that defenses saw through right away.
It also helps that San Diego doesn't have to deal with his off-field problems anymore. Cromartie was a bad influence in the locker room, and he gave the Chargers a bad reputation.
The Contract Holdouts
A.J. Smith is playing an unnecessarily tough game of hardball with Vincent Jackson, Marcus McNeill, and Shawne Merriman. He has threatened to cut their tender offers, and has signed LT Tra Thomas and WR Josh Reed to further threaten Jackson and McNeill's spot on the team.
These holdouts are killing the team and could take away the Chargers chance at the Lombardi Trophy in 2010.
The Chargers have lost a couple of great players. Seeing LaDainian Tomlinson and Williams depart was painful for a lot of San Diegans, and they will be missed.
The contract holdouts are also quite painful for the Chargers. Jackson, McNeill, and Merriman are important to this team, and their season could be in jeopardy if the holdouts continue through the regular season.
So much has happened to this team in the last few months, it's hard not to think that the Chargers have had the most drama filled offseason of any team in the NFL. The question is:how will they come back from it?
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