2012 NFL Free Agents: 4 Defensive Playmakers the San Diego Chargers Must Pursue
Another disappointing season has left Charger nation unhappy.
Head coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J Smith probably should have been fired, after once again failing to get San Diego over the hump and into the playoffs.
But they weren't.
If the Chargers won't make personnel changes to once again find success then they better make some changes on the playing field.
After statistically having the best defense in 2010, San Diego was underwhelming in 2011 and their D headlined a number of issues with the franchise.
As expected, defensive coordinator Greg Manusky was let go after one season.
But was it his fault?
The San Diego Chargers' defense would astronomically improve with some new faces and a better core of players to go along with Eric Weddle and a healthy Shaun Phillips.
This offseason is the time to make those additions.
Here are defensive four playmakers the Chargers should consider adding.
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After the horrendous season Indianapolis had, Robert Mathis should be running for the hills.
Mathis would be an excellent addition in San Diego. The Chargers lacked a relevant pass rush in 2011, and signing him and the 9.5 sacks that come with him would certainly help.
The concern here is transitioning to a 3-4 defense, something unfamiliar to Mathis from his time in Indy.
If Mathis is willing to try it out and his asking price isn't terrible, there would clearly be a spot on San Diego's line for him.
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San Diego's secondary is a big question mark heading into the 2012 season.
Safety Eric Weddle is clearly the bright spot of the corps but, in other positions, the Chargers will need to improve.
Quentin Jammer is showing his age and has looked slower, often getting beat by younger, quicker receivers.
And the Bob Sanders experiment was a failed one.
The Chargers need to get Eric Weddle some help, and signing Redskin LaRon Landry would do just that.
Landry is likely to part ways with Washington this summer and, because of his short season last year, the price for his services may drop within San Diego's range.
The Chargers could use an intimidating, hard-hitting safety. Remember Rodney Harrison?
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Cowboys pass-rusher Anthony Spencer will probably be testing the market this offseason, and there is no reason San Diego shouldn't pursue him.
Spencer is coming off his best year as a pro, one in which he forced four fumbles and recorded six sacks.
Not to mention, he played under former Chargers defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. His 4-3 defense is similar to what San Diego will run with John Pagano, the new DC.
The addition of Spencer would take some of the pressure off of Shaun Phillips.
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The rising Houston Texans have many players who will require raises this offseason and, among them, Mario Williams will call for the most money.
There is a good possibility Houston cuts ties with the former No.1 pick.
Williams has been a defensive force in the NFL and has proven himself as a star, even when moving to the linebacker position.
After making the switch, Williams looked just as stellar until a season-ending pectoral tear. He tallied five sacks and 11 tackles in just five games.
San Diego should covet no player this offseason more than Williams. He is the best player in this year's free-agent class, and adding him would have a huge impact on the Chargers' chances of a resurgence.
Remember how effective the combination of Phillips and (a healthy) Shawne Merriman was?
Mario Williams needs to be a Bolt.