Denver Post: Chargers keen on old WR

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#GoIrish #Aztecs #SDGulls #Raiders #THFC #RipCity
Staff member
Jun 20, 2005
Chula Vista, CA
You are Keenan McCardell. This is your 14th NFL season. You have played in 183 NFL games, 152 of them starts. You have two Super Bowl rings. You are with your fifth NFL team, currently the San Diego Chargers.

You line up on Sunday at Invesco Field at Mile High and your adversary on occasion is Domonique Foxworth or Darrent Williams. Both are rookies. Both have one game of NFL experience.

If you are McCardell, you are asking for every pass.

If you are Foxworth or Williams, you might request a sling and a stone.

"Oh, you've still got to respect them, and I do, because I respect anybody in front of me," McCardell said via telephone before San Diego practiced Wednesday. "It's not a matter of how long you've been in the league, it's a matter of going out there to play. It's about competing."

So, when pressed on how his matchup with either rookie should go, on just what he had in store for these NFL toddlers, McCardell said: "Hmm. If I give you that, I give away all of my secrets."

He laughed.

It was a haunting laugh.

The Chargers stride into Denver with proficient back LaDainian Tomlinson. They will enjoy the return of forceful tight end Antonio Gates.

But the game-breaker for the Chargers in this game could easily be McCardell. If cornerback Champ Bailey cannot play due to his dislocated shoulder, and likely he will not, Foxworth and Williams are going to encounter McCardell on a handful of plays. Neither will cower in confronting McCardell.

But this is a matchup that swings heavily in the Chargers' favor.

Because McCardell is not your average NFL receiver. He has a wiggle to his game and a sturdy confidence in his craft that has helped him not only endure but shine in tight spots.

What else would you expect from a player drafted in the 12th round in 1991 by Washington, the 326th overall pick, the 45th of 46 receivers drafted?

He came from UNLV - not at all considered a receiver factory - and injured his knee his rookie year. The Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI, and though McCardell did not play a down, he got a ring. The next year he moved on to Cleveland.

After four years in Cleveland and six in Jacksonville, he landed in Tampa Bay and would play in Super Bowl XXXVII. He caught touchdown passes of 5 and 8 yards against the Raiders in that game, and that championship ring fit him nicer.

Last year in Tampa, McCardell had two years left on a $10 million deal that was to pay him $2.5 million last season and $2.75 million this season. He demanded a deal that would pay him closer to $4 million per season after a Pro Bowl year in 2003. The Buccaneers