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QB Justin Herbert on possibly staging hold-in during Chargers' training camp: 'We'll see'

The Los Angeles Chargers continue to express optimism in finalizing a long-term contract for star quarterback Justin Herbert during the upcoming window before training camp kicks off in late July.

Herbert was asked on Wednesday whether he could stage a hold-in during camp if the sides can't hammer out an extension.

"When it comes time for camp, the role of the quarterback is to be out there for his team and do everything that he can to put that team in a position to win," he said, via the team's official transcript. "I understand that responsibility. It's something that you'll address when the time comes, but I guess we'll see."

That's certainly not a "no."

With the new CBA making holdouts very expensive for players -- nixing the ability of clubs to rescind fines for skipping the mandatory work -- the hold-in has become the new leverage play. A player attends meetings but doesn't join teammates on the field for practice sessions, citing an injury issue.

While Herbert noted missing camp practices "would put you quite into the deficit," particularly learning new coordinator Kellen Moore's offense, it's notable that he didn't unequivocally rule it out. Perhaps the "we'll see" was simply covering his bases depending on how the road rolls in the coming weeks. Still, it keeps the door open on the possibility that Herbert, who underwent surgery this offseason, might not be on the field when camp begins.

Herbert noted that the contract situation hasn't been at the forefront of his offseason focus.

"It's something that I really haven't thought a whole lot about," he said. "I think that most of the offseason so far has been about getting my shoulder right and making sure that I'm the best quarterback that I can be for this team. It's something that you can address -- I'm not quite sure. I don't have any more updates for you at this time, but like I've said earlier, I think the world of the Chargers organization. I've got complete faith in the front office. That's something that we'll address at the time. I don't have any updates right now."

The window between minicamps/organized team activities and training camps usually comes with a flurry of contract extensions -- especially for franchise QBs. We're about to enter that phase when negotiations between general managers and agents ramp up while players take their vacations.

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