GM A.J. Smith Says Chargers Will Prepare For Life After Marcus McNeill, Vincent Jackson

Chargers GM A.J. always chooses his public words "meticulously", writes Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune so what he said yesterday in connection to unsigned restricted free agents Marcus McNeill and Vincent Jackson is sending a message.

“It’s my understanding we have lost the services of both Marcus and Vincent for a considerable length of time,” General Manager A.J. Smith said. “I certainly am taking them at their word. Therefore, I felt it was in our best interest to act quickly and secure a veteran left tackle. Tra is a talented player that brings us a wealth of starting experience. He will be added to the mix, and we will go from there.”

Those words were in response to a question about whether the signing of veteran offensive tackle Tra Thomas was in connection to McNeill's reported threat that he would sit out training camp and possibly the 2010 season.

But how serious is that message?

Thomas struggled last year with the Jaguars and he was reportedly considering retirement. When GM A.J. Smith called his agent to inquire about signing him, Thomas had just returned from a sailing trip down the East Coast. If McNeill does indeed hold out through the season, Brandyn Dombrowski would be a better fit to replace McNeill.

Regardless of how serious this particular message is, Smith wants McNeill and Jackson to know he means business.

For more on the Chargers, check out SB Nation's Bolts From The Blue.

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