As camp nears, Chargers yet to sign any draft picks

Updated: July 21, 2006, 9:51 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- With none of their draft picks signed yet, the San Diego Chargers were facing a busy weekend of negotiations before rookies are scheduled to report for training camp on Monday.

Tackle Marcus McNeill, the team's second-round pick, said he's optimistic he'll be in camp on time. The first practice is Tuesday.

"Hopefully we'll have everything closed out by tomorrow," McNeill said Friday from Atlanta, where he's been working out. "My focus right now is to get a deal done so that I can get to camp and get started."

Jason Fletcher, the agent for first-round pick Antonio Cromartie, didn't return a call seeking comment on Friday. Cromartie, a cornerback, was taken with the 19th pick. He turned pro after missing all of his junior season at Florida State with a knee injury, and made just one start in his college career.

"We're still working," general manager A.J. Smith said Friday. "We're having great dialogue with everybody, we're very encouraged with everybody, but I have no idea until the talking stops and we all smile and agree."

The Chargers have a history of not getting their top pick in camp on time.

In the last five years, the team's only top pick who made it to camp by the first practice was cornerback Sammy Davis in 2003. Davis never lived up to his status as a first-rounder and was traded to San Francisco in the offseason for receiver Rashaun Woods.

The Chargers are trying to rebound from a December collapse that left them 9-7 and out of the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons. They finished third in the AFC West.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press