It’s no coincidence.
The Chargers are preparing for potential holdouts by left tackle Marcus McNeill and receiver Vincent Jackson and sending the message that they will move on. After signing tackle Tra Thomas on Wednesday, San Diego inked former Buffalo receiver Josh Reed.
Reed gives San Diego depth whether Jackson reports or not. Thomas will likely be the starter if McNeill stays away. Both Jackson and McNeill are restricted free agents who are expected to hold out if they are not given long-term deals. San Diego is not prepared to give either player a new contract at this point.
The signings of Thomas and Reed are smart because the Chargers realize they have to be proactive. They identified the two available players they most think will help if their starters don’t show and they signed them.
Still, don’t expect too much from Reed. He is a depth guy and is probably not a better option than No. 3 receiver Legedu Naanee, who would likely take Jackson’s spot in the lineup if Jackson holds out. Reed, a second-round draft pick in 2002, has 311 career catches for 3,575 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Reed can help San Diego, but just don’t expect him to be a quality starter in Jackson’s absence.