Yesterday was yet another indication that this man, San Diego GM A.J. Smith, has a ego bigger then the size of California and Texas combined. He and the Chargers organization were offered a 2nd round pic, and another 2nd or 3rd round conditional pick in the draft. The condition being the Vikings being able to resign Vincent Jackson to a long term deal. Something I have a good feeling would have been done once Jackson was out of San Diego. Enter egomaniac A.J. Smith, who already had flipped his finger off to Jackson. By refusing a deal in which he would have been better off accepting, he flipped said finger to the Vikings, and more importantly, to the Chargers and Chargers fanbase. The best the Chargers can now hope for is a compensatory pick once Jackson is signed by another team, and he will be.
Is this the first bonehead move of Ego Smith? Not at all. He has a entire track record for doing it his way and be damned everyone else. And sadly, the Chargers faithful have suffered, just as they will suffer for this. The first indication was the 2004 draft, and the Eli Manning fiasco. Now granted, Eli showed his pouty side by saying he would never play for the Chargers, but Smith should have seen this as a warning. Just like his predecessor should have taken the warnings about Ryan Leaf's lack of mental discipline and anger management. In both cases, it was ignored. Smith went ahead and drafted Eli anyways. And after a much public humiliation, the Chargers wound up trading Eli to the Giants in return for Rivers. Though Rivers is not bad at all in his own right. To show for this, Eli has a Superbowl ring, Smith still has his ego.
Second, Drew Brees. Yes, Brees at that time was coming off an injury and Rivers was a second year player. So Smith, being the "
egomaniac" "Brilliant" GM that he was, pissed off Brees by offering him a heavily incentive offered contract. No player with the talent Brees has would ever accept that, and Smith knew it. Again, Smith didn't care. Brees walked much to the horror of the Chargers fans. While Rivers is better then Eli Manning in my opinioin, he fall's short of Brees. Again, Brees has his ring, Smith has his ego.
Marty Shottenheimer. Yes, everyone has said Marty could never win the big game. Perhaps, but I also remember people saying that about one of my favorite coaches as well, Tony Dungy. It was Dungy's team that won the Superbowl for Tampa, not Gruden's, and of course, he won it in Indy . I think Marty, had he stayed in San Diego, just might have finally captured that ring. The players gave him support, the fan's gave him support, and initially, the owner of the Chargers gave him support. That is, until Smith started changing the owners mind. They let Cam Cameron go to become Head Coach of the Dolphins and Wade Phillips to go coach the Cowboys. Now, both these guys have proven they are not the greatest of head coaches, but very excellent coordinator's. After only a 3 point loss to the Patriots in the playoffs, Marty was forced out and they brought in highly touted
losing winning coach Norv Turner, and the team, with almost the same players, haven't reach the same records or fierceness that they achieved under Marty.
I'll also throw in Cromartie for his being sought after heavily by Smith, and Cromartie's exceptional ability to be inconsistant season to season.
So, should we even be shocked by this? Shocked and upset by they fact that one of the NFL's thickest head's turned down an obviously sweeter deal with the Vikings so he could smile in the mirror and say "Well played, Smith." Not at all. This is his normal self. Him beating his chest saying "I'm the God". This is just another in a long streak of "I'm the man" decisions. Decisions that has hurt his team and one's he is totally oblivious too. Vincent Jackson will be leaving the Chargers, and the Chargers will suffer. Suffer like they have under Smith's rule. Jackson will reap a reward for putting up with Smith. Will the Vikings pursue him in the open market? Perhaps, if not, I don't think we will be hurt in either way. We won't suffer for being turned down by someone with a head bigger then Jupiter, and we won't be hurt by not giving up two draft pics.
The only ones that will be hurt are the Chargers and their fans. All because of an ego. All because of A.J. Smith.