McNeill moves on from holdout, eyes long-term Chargers deal

Marcus McNeill is inching closer to being on the field with the San Diego Chargers.

The Pro Bowl left tackle ended his holdout Saturday when he signed his one-year contract tender. Things progressed Monday, when *The San Diego Union-Tribune* reported that McNeill was at Chargers Park for meetings before heading off for a physical that will pave the way for him to practice with the team.

"Me and the Chargers, we talked, and I feel real comfortable about my situation," said McNeill, who wants a long-term deal. "I felt assured when I got back I'd be able to play and hopefully receive something later on down the line. I feel more comfortable."

The Chargers and McNeill are back together, but he must sit out the next three games because he and wide receiver Vincent Jackson were placed on the roster exempt list Aug. 20 while holding out. Jackson still hasn't signed or reported to the team.

McNeill, who played in the Pro Bowl following the 2006 and 2007 seasons, will be eligible to play in the Oct. 17 game against the St. Louis Rams.

McNeill is scheduled to make approximately $444,000 -- or more than $2.7 million less than his salary would have been had he signed his original tender in the spring.

Despite the considerable financial fallout of his actions, McNeill stands by his decision and hopes a longterm deal eventually will come.

"I definitely feel I took a step in the right direction," he said. "I feel me and the Chargers feel good about our relationship, and we want to keep it for hopefully a long time."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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