West Rumors: Chargers, Miller, Bailey, Ward

The Chargers received the necessary 110,000+ votes to place their citizens’ initiative measure on the November ballot for the purposes of unlocking funds for a downtown stadium, Dan McSwain of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Most signature gathering efforts of this kind take six full months. We had just six weeks to complete our work,” Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said. “The fact that we were able to collect more than 110,000 signatures in that short period of time demonstrates tremendous support in our community for a new, combined stadium-convention center expansion downtown.”

The initiative calls for $650MM in funds from unspecified sources, which likely means money from the Chargers, fans, personal seat licenses and the NFL, per McSwain. But opponents of the initiative are formulating plans. Some are taking the stance of last year’s stadium task force that preferred to keep the Chargers at nearby Mission Valley as opposed to downtown.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer endorsed that site last year prior to the Chargers’ Carson bid being rejected. But he hasn’t come out in favor of either site recently and distanced himself from the activist group that’s attempting to prevent the Chargers-supported downtown stadium from coming to fruition.

The next step in this process is the San Diego registrar’s office determining if 66,447 of those aforementioned signatures are valid.

Here’s the latest from teams whose statuses in their current cities are a bit more entrenched.

  • Although Von Miller‘s proposed six-year, $114.5MM deal would bring $58.5MM by Year 3 should the Broncos pick up his third-season option a few days after the 2018 league year begins, the All-Pro pass-rusher’s stance remains firm: he wants $60MM fully guaranteed at signing, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. This protects Miller in the same way Ndamukong Suh‘s $59.5MM in full guarantees did. Denver offered $38.5MM, with an additional $1.3MM in workout bonuses, to its franchise-tagged performer at signing. That falls well short of Suh’s total, although every NFL contract has done so, with Aaron Rodgers‘ failing to exceed $45MM in at-signing guarantees. The Broncos’ offer seems to follow the blueprint the Chiefs laid out with Justin Houston last summer, with the tagged edge defender receiving $32.5MM guaranteed up front, with the carrot of $52.5MM in the first three seasons if the Chiefs trigger his Year 3 option on the third day of the 2017 league year.
  • Some of these developments — like the Broncos leaking his turning down the offer — have been viewed as personal affronts for 27-year-old reigning Super Bowl MVP, Renck writes. Look no further than Miller cropping GM John Elway out of an Instagram photo (via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, on Twitter) that previously featured Miller, Elway DeMarcus Ware, Peyton Manning and Gary Kubiak at the White House. Renck suggests Miller remove himself from the proceedings to avoid further embitterment toward the franchise he will almost certainly still play for in 2016. The sides have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal before Miller is forced to play for $14.26MM this season.
  • Clearing waivers on Wednesday, Stedman Bailey has returned to the Rams in a non-playing role for now, being placed on the reserve/non-football injury list. The would-be fourth-year wideout appreciates the organization keeping him around despite not being medically cleared to play after being shot twice in November. “I still get a chance to work out with the team and just pretty much sit around with all the meetings and learn what it’s like to be a coach. So, it’s kind of just looking at the game from a different angle, but I’m just grateful for the opportunity,” Bailey said, via Andie Hagemann of NFL.com.
  • Jimmie Ward has transformed from strong safety to slot cornerback to someone with a strong chance of starting at corner to begin 2016. The former first-round safety earned the bulk of the first-team reps for the 49ers at corner opposite Tramaine Brock at minicamp, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com reports. Ward rated as a top-40 Pro Football Focus corner last season for his work in the slot. He of the infamous Iron Bowl field goal return in 2013, Chris Davis took most of the reps at slot corner at San Francisco’s minicamp.
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