Extending Marcus McNeill is right message

October, 12, 2010
10/12/10
12:23
AM ET
You could see this one coming for two-plus weeks.

McNeill
McNeill
As soon as Marcus McNeill ended his holdout and reported to the Chargers on Sept. 25, it seemed certain like a long-term deal was coming. McNeill acted in good faith to end his holdout and the Chargers have, in turn, acted in good faith by giving him a new deal. McNeill came off the roster exempt list Monday and he is expected to play Sunday at St. Louis, solidifying a line that did pretty well in his absence for five games.

The Chargers long planned to give McNeill a new deal. But when he held out, it delayed the talks.

This is the right move for both sides. McNeill was smart by ending his holdout and the Chargers are smart by rewarding him. It is a good message to the players on the team and to the fans of San Diego that good, faithful players will be rewarded. Plus, at 2-3, the Chargers needed some positive news.

This qualifies. McNeill is a fine player and the fact that he will be protecting quarterback Philip Rivers’ blindside for the long term is a huge development in San Diego. Don’t be surprised if Brandyn Dombrowski pushes Jeromey Clary at right tackle, Dombrowski did a solid job in McNeill’s absence.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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