Chargers sign Thomas as insurance
SAN DIEGO -- Three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tra Thomas signed a one-year contract Wednesday with the San Diego Chargers, perhaps as insurance in case left tackle Marcus McNeill continues his holdout.
McNeill, outside linebacker Shawne Merriman and wide receiver Vincent Jackson are so unhappy about being tendered one-year contracts as restricted free agents that they have stayed away from offseason workouts, including minicamp.
Their holdouts could extend into the regular season.
Tuesday 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.
Merriman was tendered at $3,269,000, Jackson at $3,268,000 and McNeill at $3,168,000.
Wide receiver Malcom Floyd signed his $3,168,000 tender and ended his holdout on Monday.
Thomas was a first-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1998. He went to the Pro Bowl after the 2001, '02 and '04 seasons. He played in five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl with the Eagles.
Thomas signed with Jacksonville last year and played in just eight games, starting one.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press