Report: Chargers, Merriman discussing when he'll report to camp

Talk about possible training-camp holdouts by Vincent Jackson, Marcus McNeill and Shawne Merriman has dominated the San Diego Chargers' offseason.

But Merriman could report after all. The only question might be when.

Sources told *The San Diego Union-Tribune* on Saturday that the Chargers and Merriman are in the early stages of discussing the possibility of the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker signing his one-year, $3.269 million tender and joining the team.

Merriman said last week that he isn't sure when he'll report to training camp. But Chargers coach Norv Turner would like Merriman there Friday, when full-team workouts begin.

"Because of the things he's been through, he (Merriman) would benefit greatly from having a full, great training camp and getting back to doing the things he does healthy," Turner told the newspaper. "I don't care who you are, if you're not 100 percent ... there are things you can't do that you used to do, you're not instinctive. The way you get those things back is by going 100 mph and practicing."

Merriman compiled 39.5 sacks in his first three NFL seasons -- making the Pro Bowl each time -- but he has struggled the past two years, partly because of injuries. He missed all but the season opener in 2008 with torn ligaments in his left knee. Last season, he sat out two games while dealing with nagging foot and groin injuries and finished with just four sacks.

Merriman didn't participate in workouts this offseason to show his displeasure with his contract. As a five-year NFL veteran, Merriman was denied a chance at unrestricted free agency when the 2010 season became uncapped.

Jackson, a Pro Bowl wide receiver, and McNeill, a two-time Pro Bowl left tackle, also are unhappy with their contracts, but the Chargers reduced their restricted free agent tenders to under $600,000 when they didn't sign by the June 15 deadline. Chargers general manager A.J. Smith is willing to trade Jackson, sources told *The Union-Tribune*, but the newspaper noted that McNeill is most likely to receive a long-term contract.

The Chargers haven't spoken to Jackson or McNeill since mid-June, according to The Union-Tribune.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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