The San Diego Chargers are ready to play hardball with receiver Vincent Jackson and left tackle Marcus McNeill, sending a letter to the pair informing them that their salaries will be drastically cut if they don't sign their contract tenders before June 15.
Chargers general manager A.J. Smith, when contacted by the San Diego Union-Tribune, confirmed the players were sent the letters.
According to the newspaper, Jackson's salary would be slashed from $3.268 million to $583,000 if he doesn't sign by next week, and McNeill's pay would drop from $3.168 million to $600,000.
Sources told the Union-Tribune the agents for both players recently informed the team that Jackson and McNeill would stay away from the team for "some time" if they were sent the letters.
And the Union-Tribune, citing sources familiar with the thinking of the players, reported the two were prepared to sit out regular-season games, and perhaps boycott the entire 2010 campaign.
June 15 is the deadline for clubs to withdraw original qualifying offers to unsigned restricted free agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting a tender of 110 percent of the previous year's salary.
Smith declined comment when informed of the players' willingness to sit out the season.
"I've already addressed the subject in detail and have nothing more to add," Smith told the Union-Tribune.
Jackson, 27, had his second straight 1,000-yard season in 2009, gaining 1,167 yards with a career-high nine touchdowns and earning his first Pro Bowl appearance. The 26-year-old McNeill is a two-time Pro Bowler.
Linebacker Shawne Merriman also has not yet signed his tender.
On Monday, wide receiver Malcolm Floyd signed his one-year contract tender as a restricted free agent worth $3,168,000.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.