In this series we take a look at 12 players for the San Diego Chargers who are 25 or younger and who could be considered foundational or impact players.

Player: ILB Donald Butler
Age: 25

Butler
The skinny: A third-round selection by the Chargers in the 2010 draft, Butler signed a seven-year, $51.8 million deal as the team's top priority this offseason. San Diego's defensive co-captain finished second on the team with 84 tackles, four pass breakups, an interception and half a sack during the regular season. Butler missed time for a second straight season, sitting out four games with a groin injury.

Reason for optimism: At 6-1 and 242 pounds, Butler is fast (4.62-second, 40-yard time at his pro day) and strong (35 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds). The University of Washington product also has a nose for the football and has the potential to develop into the long-term leader for defensive coordinator John Pagano's unit. But Butler has to perform in 2014 and beyond as he did in the postseason, when he led the Chargers in tackles with 18 and also forced a fumble.

Reason for concern: Can Butler finally stay healthy and develop into a playmaker on defense? After he signed the long-term deal, Butler said as much, stating that improving his durability was a priority during the offseason. Butler missed 24 of a possible 64 games in his four-year career with the Chargers, including four games each in the 2012 and 2013 seasons because of a similar groin injury. Butler has not always played at a high level week in, week out. He needs to perform as he did during the 2013 playoffs on a more consistent basis.

NFL Nation TV debuts

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
1:30
PM ET
Join us today at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT as ESPN’s NFL Nation TV debuts on Spreecast with host Paul Gutierrez (Oakland Raiders reporter), co-host Coley Harvey (Cincinnati Bengals reporter) and guest Jeff Legwold (Denver Broncos reporter). Topics will include free agency, the upcoming draft and other current events in the NFL in particular and the world of sports in general. Users are encouraged to log in and ask the panelists questions as well in the chat feature.

Here's the link for the NFL Nation TV.
John Elway's pictures -- including the jumbo shot of him celebrating with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after one of his Super Bowl wins -- hang outside the Denver Broncos' locker room and here and there in the team's suburban complex, but he doesn't often tell when-I-played-football stories unless asked.

He'll discuss the importance of team chemistry or the importance of a starting quarterback's ability to manage the role. He will talk about how he wishes he would have run less in his career and thrown more from the pocket. But he does not look for opportunities to say how things were done and how they should always be done.

His experience as a Hall of Fame quarterback and a former No. 1 pick are clear in the way he evaluates players for the draft. It doesn't always make him right. It doesn't even make him more right than those who never played a down in the NFL. But his experience does give him more of an understanding of the process.

Elway was the first pick of what was a gold-star draft. Perhaps the gold-star pick in a draft that had six Hall of Famers selected in the first round and another seven Hall of Famers selected overall in the 12-round affair.

In the weeks and months before the Colts picked him and then traded him to the Broncos, he listened to people break down his game -- the good, the bad and the stuff he never could quite figure out where it came from. He saw the anonymous quotes about his potential as a professional, the threat of a baseball career as some pre-draft leverage and the desire to not play for the Colts at that time in the franchise's history.

Granted, talk radio was not in the same galaxy as it is today and the publicly traveled Internet was still a decade or so away, but you can see Elway's experiences when asked about players in his current role as a talent evaluator.

Ask him if a quarterback should throw at the scouting combine and he routinely says, "I always want to see a guy throw, see him work with some really good receivers, but I understand. Why would you want to look bad? I understand if a guy makes a choice. Again, I always want to see a guy throw, but I do understand their thinking when they don't sometimes."

That's because Elway has a history with being on the other side of the equation. And as far as a relevant Elway draft stat, there is this: 4. That's the number of scouting combines available for players to participate in the year Elway came into the draft.

Scouting combines Elway actually attended: 0.

His reasoning? "I had bad knee, and I just didn't want everybody to see it."

That's right. He didn't go. He didn't throw. He didn't let teams poke, prod and X-ray him. He didn't attend interviews or take a Wonderlic. No one said he slouched, that he didn't make eye contact or that he was lazy.

But the draft interests people. The league's decision to move it down the calendar, to Mother's Day weekend no less, has provided more time for speculation. It's a different media environment than when Elway entered the draft. Quotes from anonymous sources this time of year can range from fib to outright lie as a means of misdirection.

Some teams want guys to fall so they can take them later; some teams want guys to rise so other people will pick them and leave them with the guys they really want. Whether any of it really works -- and plenty of folks who say it doesn't do it anyway -- is up for debate.

And maybe some guys really are lazy, or aren't really certain they want to play football, or are a little too short, a little too slow or can't keep themselves out of trouble. Those factors will all get tossed into the decisions that are made when the picks finally come off the board next month. All of those things -- especially character and chemistry -- matter, and they should matter just as much as talent.

But in the end, it isn't really a player's job to tell, or show, a team why it should, or shouldn't, take him. Because, well, that would be the lazy way out.

Broncos draft rewind: 2013

April, 14, 2014
Apr 14
7:30
AM ET
As the guy at the top of the football flow chart for the Denver Broncos for the last three seasons, John Elway has now overseen three drafts for the team.

The Broncos have made 23 picks in those three drafts and found seven full-time starters. Denver hopes to be add to that total this season if things go as planned in May.

But let’s go inside each of those three drafts to see how things have gone and where they are headed.

Today: 2013.

First pick: Sylvester Williams, 28th overall. When the Broncos selected him last April they saw an every-down option, a potentially disruptive interior pass rusher and a player also strong enough to play with power in run defense as well.

Given Williams’ personal history -- a stint working on an assembly line in a factory before deciding to walk on to play football in junior college -- the Broncos also saw a player with plenty of room to grow on the developmental curve to go with the work ethic that put him in the a position to be a first-round pick.

With Derek Wolfe and Kevin Vickerson both having ended up on injured reserve last season, Williams went from being inactive on game day three times in the season’s first nine games to starting the team’s last four games of the regular season and three playoff games.

Starters: 1.

[+] EnlargeMontee Ball
AP Photo/Jack DempseyBroncos running back Montee Ball wasn't technically a starter last season, but that should change in 2014.
With those seven starts in 2013, Williams was the only Broncos player from last April’s draft class to open that many games. He is the only "starter" in the group by the letter of the law at the moment.

But running back Montee Ball (second round) will be the second starter as soon as the Broncos open their offseason workouts. Ball, with 312 snaps this past season, actually played more overall than Williams (296 snaps) and finished as the team’s second-leading rusher with 559 yards.

Williams and Ball will continue to lead this draft class. With the Broncos expected to add some wrinkles -- and attention -- to the run game, Ball will have the potential for a breakout season.

Best value pick: At the moment it’s Ball. As the 58th player selected in the 2013 draft, Ball was the classic example of production over measurables in the pre-draft process.

He didn’t run as well as many of the other running backs on the board, but he plays faster, and showed good instincts with the ball. A lot of players talk about what needs to be done. Ball actually put in the time and effort to do those things. Ball improved in pass protection, boding well for the future. Despite few opportunities as a receiver in the run-first Wisconsin offense, he will function just fine catching the ball in the league.

Now’s the time: The Broncos expect and need Williams to take a significant jump this season. There are few positions -- other than quarterback -- where it is more difficult to move quickly into the lineup and have an impact as an NFL rookie.

NFL offensive guards are far stronger, move better and play smarter so the transition for the defensive tackle can be tough because there isn’t much room to work in the middle of the field. So once a defensive tackle is shut out of the play it is difficult for him to win the advantage back.

Williams flashed the ability to consistently win position off the snap down the stretch. If he takes the usual step between a rookie and second season, he should be one of the starters on the interior.

Gone: WR Tavarres King. The Broncos believed King, who had played in a school-record 56 games at Georgia, had the physical skills to go with some on-field maturity to get into their rotation as a rookie.

And King flashed those skills in camp, but he also showed a little too much ego and attitude for the Broncos’ liking at times, so they put him on the practice squad. But after a one-week move to the active roster last October, the Broncos tried to get him through waivers and back on the practice squad to bring Von Miller back from his six-game suspension.

King was signed by the Carolina Panthers, but did not play in any games last season. That hole in the draft class means the Broncos will be inclined to take a receiver out of this draft's exceptionally deep class.

More to come? Though the Broncos will give a long look to the cornerbacks in this year’s draft, cornerback Kayvon Webster (third round) will have the opportunity to earn plenty of playing time in the nickel and dime packages moving into the season.

With Champ Bailey's departure and Chris Harris Jr. still coming back from ACL surgery, Webster will have to be in the mix.

Also, defensive end Quanterus Smith (fifth round) did not play as a rookie after the Broncos placed him on injured reserve as training camp drew to a close. Smith, who had a three-sack game against an Alabama offensive line loaded with NFL draft picks in his senior season at Western Kentucky, had torn his ACL in his last collegiate season.

The Broncos tried him in the rotation in camp, but decided to move him to the IR in an attempt to bring him back at full speed this year. With Miller still working through his return from December ACL surgery, the Broncos could use Smith to come out of the gate strong.

Smith, at 255 pounds, is slightly undersized to play the power left end spot, but could have some opportunities to play there as Miller works his way back.
For those with ESPN Insider access, Steve Muench has some suggestions Insider
for the Kansas City Chiefs and their three top picks in this year's draft.

Muench suggests Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer for the Chiefs in the first round. They have no more pressing positional need and ideally they could find someone capable of eventually replacing Dwayne Bowe as their No. 1 receiver. Latimer is big (6-2 1/2, 215 pounds) and fast (4.44 40-yard dash) and could eventually develop into that player. Even if not, he's another capable body to throw into their receiving mix. Muench's thought that the Chiefs could trade back a few spots, pick up an extra draft pick or two and still get Latimer is a solid one. The Chiefs have only six picks this year, having sent their second-rounder to San Francisco in last year's trade that brought quarterback Alex Smith.

Moving on to the third round, Muench gives the Chiefs Stanford guard David Yankey. He is advanced enough that he should be able as a rookie to step into the starting right guard spot vacated by the free-agent departures of Geoff Schwartz and Jon Asamoah. The Chiefs have some candidates on their roster to step in and start at right guard but none has the potential or skills of Yankey. Depth on the offensive line is also a concern for the Chiefs after the lost Schwartz, Asamoah and tackle Branden Albert.

Muench assigns to the Chiefs in the fourth round Minnesota defensive back Brock Vereen. He can cover slot receivers but also has safety skills. The Chiefs lost two of their top three safeties from last season, Kendrick Lewis and Quintin Demps. At this point, the unproven Sanders Commings looks to be first in line as the starting free safety. The Chiefs added veteran Chris Owens to their mix at cornerback, but having another player with versatile skills in their secondary couldn't hurt.

Muench's top three picks address three of the Chiefs' biggest needs. The Chiefs would be happy if they could pull this off. Would you?
The week began for the Oakland Raiders with a visit from polarizing quarterback prospect Johnny Manziel, the former Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M.

It will end with a stopover by an intriguing draft climber in Pittsburgh QB Tom Savage, ESPN.com has learned.

[+] EnlargeTom Savage
Andrew Weber/USA TODAY SportsTom Savage passed for 2,958 yards and 21 touchdowns last season for Pitt.
Savage, initially projected as a fourth or fifth-round draft choice but becoming a hot topic of late, will fly into Oakland Friday and visit with the Raiders. Oakland is impressed with his size -- he measured 6-feet-4, 228 pounds at the combine -- and arm strength -- many observers thought he had the strongest, if not necessarily the most accurate, arm at the combine as well.

He has transferred twice, starting out at Rutgers before going to Arizona, though he never played for the Wildcats, before finding his way to Pitt. His wayward ways have been a topic of conversation for teams interested in his services, Savage said at the combine.

"You see someone transfer twice, your immediate thought is probably a red flag, there is something wrong," he said. "Obviously, my journey has been a little different. It's helped me mature as a person and I wouldn't want to do it any other way."

In his lone season at Pitt, Savage passed for 2,958 yards with 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing 61 percent of his passes last year. He was knocked out of the Panthers' Little Caesers Pizza Bowl victory over Bowling Green in the first half with a rib injury after completing 8 of 13 passes for 124 yards.

"I definitely want to bring toughness," he said. "You have to be that guy who can take a couple of hits and keep your eyes down the field and still make the big-time throws you need to make. Everyone here has big arms. You have to be accurate. You have to be a poised quarterback and be able to handle the pressure."

Savage, who would no doubt be a project in the making, would seemingly fit the mold for the Raiders, who are going all in with Matt Schaub under center and Matt McGloin as the primary backup (Terrelle Pryor has likely played his last down in Oakland, general manager Reggie McKenzie has intimated). Though that was also the plan last year when Oakland acquired Matt Flynn to be the franchise quarterback, targeted Matt Barkley before the draft before taking Tyler Wilson in the fourth round.

Besides, if Twitter is a barometer, a Raiders jersey with "SAVAGE" on the back of it would be immensely popular to fans.
After losing Dexter McCluster and Quintin Demps to free agency, look for the Kansas City Chiefs to draft at least one player with kickoff and punt return skills. The Chiefs had one of the best return games in the league last season, but only Knile Davis remains as one of their return specialists. Davis is still new to the return game and can handle kickoffs but not punts so the Chiefs are in need of some help.

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. recently talked about some of the top return specialists in the draft and began with running backs Dri Archer of Kent State and De'Anthony Thomas of Oregon.

"Those would be the two guys that jump out because they have tremendous versatility and they've already proven they can get the job done in that area," Kiper said. "I think John Brown is an underrated guy, a sleeper-type out of Pittsburg State. Can return punts, kicks. Did a great job. He also caught the ball I thought very well. I think John Brown ... could be a guy late in the draft that really helps out in that area."

Some of the wide receivers who could be available to the Chiefs with their first-round pick also have return skills. This group includes LSU's Odell Beckham Jr., Oregon State's Brandin Cooks and USC's Marqise Lee. Beckham could wind up being the best return specialist in this year's draft.

"I don't mention those guys because you certainly wouldn't prefer your No. 1 receiver, your No. 2 receiver to be doing that necessarily," Kiper said. "Odell Beckham could be a No. 1 (receiver). Cooks is going to be an outstanding slot receiver. Early in their careers, they can do that ... but you want to make sure that doesn't lead to an injury."

Beckham or Cooks would probably be part-time players for the Chiefs as rookies. I would expect either one to get the chance to be the No. 1 return specialist in Kansas City.
The Denver Broncos continue to get face-to-face with some of the prospects who have piqued their interest for next month’s draft.

They have been in front of their allotment at the college all-star games, the scouting combine and continue to do their homework as they bring many into their Dove Valley complex to meet with coaches and executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway.

Here is the first of an occasional look at the prospects who have attracted Denver's attention.

Fox
Fox
Combine a quality work ethic with a powerful frame and long arms and you have the kind of cornerback Broncos head coach John Fox, a former defensive backs coach when he entered the NFL, always talks about in Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller.

Fuller, who already has a brother in the NFL and carries a grade worthy of the Broncos’ first-round pick, is 5-foot-11 3/4, 190 pounds and ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at the combine (electronically timed). He has upper-tier ball skills and understands where receivers are trying to go as he consistently plays with good anticipation to get himself to the spot.

He is also a quality tackler. He missed time after surgery this past November for a sports hernia -- he missed five games and the Senior Bowl because of it -- and dealt with shoulder and groin injuries in 2012, but didn’t miss any games that season.

The bigger cornerbacks routinely move up the board once the actual picks get made, so there is plenty of question as to whether Fuller would even be there when the Broncos pick at 31.

Among the other defensive backs on their radar is Washington State safety Deone Bucannon, who sat with the team for the first time at the Senior Bowl. Bucannon ran a 4.49 at 211 pounds at the combine and his 78-inch armspan is among the biggest on the board at the position.

Among the defensive lineman on the board keep an eye on is Minnesota defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman. Hageman, at 6-5 7/8, 310 pounds is a top-tier athlete for a player his size -- he arrived to the Gophers as a tight end -- and carries a grade worthy of a pick in the bottom third of the first round. Connecticut defensive tackle Shamar Stephen is an interior player who, at 6-4 7/8, 309 pounds, will get a look down the board some. Stephen is adept at attacking double teams and very active/effective with his hands to shed blockers.

Elway has also routinely promised to look at quarterbacks in every draft no matter who the team has behind center, and has used a pick in 2012 (Brock Osweiler) and 2013 (Zac Dysert) to grab one with Peyton Manning on the top of the depth chart.

They still project Osweiler as the first starter in the post-Manning era, but Elway simply will not let the cupboard go bare. Among the quarterbacks the Broncos have met with are Miami’s Stephen Morris and Wyoming’s Brett Smith.

Both are down-the-board guys for the Broncos and are slightly undersized. For his part Morris is a two-time team captain who has the head for the game and the fire Elway likes in a passer. Smith is a get-it-done guy who will grind it out to make a play, and was a team captain as a sophomore.
Over the course of his work on this year’s draft, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has kept the Denver Broncos focused on defense, including last month’s mock draft when McShay had the Broncos selecting Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy with the 31st pick.

And in his latest effort -- a two-round mock -- McShay again has the Broncos opening their draft with a defensive player


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Holding the No. 5 overall selection in the upcoming NFL draft could be seen as a both a blessing and a curse for the Oakland Raiders. After all, to get such a prime pick, the Raiders had to have a down season the year before ... and going 4-12 qualifies as such, meaning they have many needs. Even after signing 11 free agents from other teams, plus four of their own, and acquiring quarterback Matt Schaub in a trade since free agency opened March 11.

In his fourth mock draft , which is on ESPN Insider today, Todd McShay addresses a couple of needs for the Raiders, which should satisfy fans and Oakland's front office -- if it does indeed go this way.


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It's no secret the Kansas City Chiefs need help at wide receiver. Their wideouts were last in the NFL last season in catches and yardage.


So it will be no surprise if the Chiefs select a wide receiver with their first pick in the upcoming draft. ESPN analyst Todd McShay introduced a new name for the Chiefs at that spot in his latest mock draft .


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

The San Diego Chargers hold the No. 25 overall selection in this year’s draft, and still have holes to fill at receiver, interior offensive line, defensive tackle, outside linebacker and cornerback.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay’s fourth 2014 NFL mock draft Insider is available at ESPN Insider, and his selection for the Chargers is somewhat of a surprise.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

I previously noted the Kansas City Chiefs had none of the 14 players ESPN's Matt Wiiliamson listed as true No. 1 receivers (ESPN Insider access is required to read the story). The Chiefs were also shut out from Williamson's list of 11 receivers who deserve honorable mention.

Tight end Travis Kelce made Williamson's list of young players who could eventually develop into one of these receivers. But Kelce isn't there yet, so let's assume for the purpose of this argument that the Chiefs' next great receiver isn't currently on their roster.

So how do the Chiefs go about finding an elite receiver of their own? Let's use Williamson's list as a guide. First, they'll probably have to draft and develop him. None of the 14 true No. 1 receivers he lists has played for an NFL team other than the one he's on now.

Next, they'll need to find a big guy. Of Williamson's 14 elite NFL receivers, the only ones under 6-3 are Michael Crabtree of the San Francisco 49ers (6-1) and Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys (6-2). The only one less than 210 pounds is A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals (207).

Receiving has become a big man's game. That's not to say a smaller player can't be productive but generally speaking a receiver has to be able to win some physical battles with defensive backs and succeed in the occasional jump ball.

Generally speaking, the Chiefs will need to make the acquisition of an elite receiver a priority. Of Williamson's 14 receivers, eight were drafted in the first round, four in the second, one in the third and one in the fourth. While the Chiefs won't have to get a top receiver in the first round, they had better not wait much longer.

In a later post, we'll look at some of the wide receivers available in this year's draft and how they might fit into this criteria.
On Monday, I noted the Kansas City Chiefs have none of the 14 players ESPN’s Matt Williamson listed as true No. 1 receivers. The Chiefs were also shut out from Williamson’s list of 11 receivers who deserve honorable mention.

This development, while not surprising, was still discouraging for a team trying to establish its passing game.

Williamson has followed up by issuing a list of 13 young receivers who could someday become true No. 1 receivers. Some are already on an NFL roster, some are available in this year’s draft.

Kelce
The Chiefs again have none of the 13. But Williamson also mentions seven other receivers as worth considering for his list. They do have one of those players: tight end Travis Kelce.

Kelce was drafted in the third-round last year out of Cincinnati. It was quickly evident from offseason practices that Kelce isn’t the prototypical tight end and, accordingly, the Chiefs didn’t plan to use him as a traditional tight end.

Kelce, even at 260 pounds, isn’t much of a blocker, though he has time to develop that part of his game. But, despite his size, he has the ability to get down the field, beat coverage and catch passes.

So the Chiefs lined up Kelce in a variety of places, including split like a wide receiver, and made good use of him. But as the preseason progressed, he developed a knee ailment that eventually required surgery and ruined his rookie season before it could get started.

The Chiefs expect Kelce back at full strength next season. While it’s a big leap from being an offseason star to regular-season receiving threat, Kelce has the kind of potential to make it successfully. That potential indeed makes Kelce someone to consider as the Chiefs continue to search for consistent receiving threats.
Mark Fabiani, special counsel to San Diego Chargers president Dean Spanos, and the point person for the team’s effort to secure a new stadium, provided an update on the team’s stadium effort in an interview with Dan Sileo of The Mighty 1090 AM radio station on Tuesday.

You can listen to the conversation here.

Fabiani confirmed an earlier report by U-T San Diego that representatives from the Chargers will hold their first face-to-face meeting with staff members from San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer's office on Wednesday.

[+] EnlargeQualcomm Stadium parking lot
AP Photo/Ric TapiaThe Chargers, who play at Qualcomm Stadium, hope to build a football-only facility in downtown San Diego, to the east of Petco Park.
Fabiani described the upcoming meeting as more of an information-gathering session, and emphasized that the sides have been having regular conversations since Faulconer took office on March 3.

“It’s nothing monumental,” Fabiani said. “It’s the process that will continue as we discuss alternatives. What we really hope -- and I think it’s what all of us hope for the city -- is that this mayor stays around for a while. We’ve had seven mayors here in the last 10 years, and we’ve never been able to gather any momentum.”

The Chargers propose to build a football-only facility downtown, to the east of Petco Park (home of the San Diego Padres), that could seat as many as 70,000 for Super Bowls. The cost is projected to be from $800 million to $900 million.

Funding for the stadium would include contributions from the Spanos family and the NFL, along with selling and developing 166 acres of city-owned property that Qualcomm Stadium sits on, and another 100 acres of city-owned property that houses the San Diego Sports Arena, for the city's contribution.

Selling off the parcels of land could generate the city's financial contribution to the project without raising taxes, while creating new tax revenue from the development of the land.

Although a downtown location is preferred, Fabiani said the team is open to considering other locations for the project, including the Qualcomm Stadium site.

“We’ve gone into these discussions with the new mayor with a completely open mind,” Fabiani said. “In other words, if there’s a solution we haven’t thought of in the last 12 years, we are very willing to consider it. We don’t have any preconceptions. Obviously, having worked on it for 12 years, we feel like we know a lot about the options.

“But if we could find something that worked downtown, there would be a lot going for that. If we could find something that worked at the Qualcomm site, I think we would be happy with that, too. Our view is we’re open-minded, and we’re willing to consider all ideas.”

That said, Fabiani detailed the attraction of being located downtown next to Petco Park.

“One of the real attractions to downtown is the ability to create a sports and entertainment district that would really be unrivaled in this country,” Fabiani said. “I mean, you look at Staples Center in Los Angeles and L.A. Live, and what they’ve been able to do just with one arena there, creating a real vibrant part of downtown. Imagine if you had the convention center, the football stadium and the baseball park all within one another. ... It would be one of the great locations in the country to come have fun and see an entertainment event. It would be fantastic.”

The Chargers could seek a citywide special election as early as June 2015 for approval of a replacement for Qualcomm, which was built in 1967. However, Fabiani acknowledged a more realistic time frame for voters to weigh in on the project could be February 2016 in a less costly presidential primary.

“We’ve always said that whatever happens has to be voted on by the people,” Fabiani said. “That this should not be something that gets negotiated somewhere else and gets forced on the people. The people should have a right to vote for it. Now when that vote happens, that’s an open question.

“I know that next year, 2015, has been talked about. We’ve talked about it. The problem is that would be a special election, and that means it would be a low-turnout election. You wouldn’t get the same high number of voters that you would in a governors’ race or presidential race. And that’s really not good for a program like we’re proposing, an ambitious construction project like this.”

Fabiani said the team would like to structure the ballot measure so voters throughout San Diego County can weigh in on the project.

Fabiani also confirmed that the main goal for the Spanos family remains keeping the Chargers in San Diego.

“Just look at what they’ve done in the last 12 years -- the amount of money they’ve spent and the amount of aggravation they’ve gone through and the frustration we’ve all experienced,” Fabiani said. “But they’ve stuck with it.

“Again, ultimately this is a business. This is a team that people expect to succeed. They expect us to put the best players on the field. They expect us to spend up to the salary cap every year. And ultimately you have to protect the economics of your business. But Dean [Spanos] and his family have shown tremendous commitment to San Diego, and tremendous commitment to get this done.”

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