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10 Big Moves San Diego Chargers Could Make in 2013 NFL Free Agency

Marcelo VillaCorrespondent IIJanuary 14, 2013

10 Big Moves San Diego Chargers Could Make in 2013 NFL Free Agency

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    With a new GM in place, the San Diego Chargers and Tom Telesco have work to do pertaining to the team's roster in 2013, and free agency is one area they'll begin making moves in.

    This year's free-agent class isn't one of the strongest in recent memory, but veteran experience tops the list.

    The Chargers have plenty of needs heading into 2013, and while free agency won't solve every problem, this team has, there are players who can come in and contribute.

    Here is a list of 10 big moves the Chargers could make during this year's free-agency period,

    All salary and contract info was acquired by Spotrac.

RB Shonn Greene

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    Fourth-year back Shonn Greene racked up his second consecutive 1,000-yard season, despite his New York Jets stumbling to a 6-10 finish.

    While New York would be in the wrong to let him go, there's a possibility that the Jets explore the market in 2013 for an upgrade to Greene.

    With Ryan Mathews' durability in question due to his multiple collarbone injuries last season, the need for a formidable backup in San Diego couldn't be any greater, and Greene fits the bill appropriately.

    The 27-year-old doesn't necessarily fill the role of a true No. 1, but pairing Greene's uphill running style with Mathews would allow San Diego to move the ball on the ground more and take less pressure off Philip Rivers to throw so much.

RB Danny Woodhead

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    New England Patriots RB Danny Woodhead has little to offer teams in terms of his rushing ability, but it's what he can do in addition to running the football that will really draw interest in free agency.

    Woodhead compiled 301 yards rushing and 446 yards receiving for the Patriots in 2012. He was targeted 55 times by Tom Brady and caught 40 passes.

    The fifth-year back wouldn't be much help to San Diego in the run game, but his ability to gain positive yardage out of the backfield as a receiver is what makes him of use to a Chargers team that struggled to get production out of its receivers.

    Not to mention the fact that Woodhead has experience as a returner as well (437 yards on kickoffs in 2011).

WR Dwayne Bowe

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    Crossing over to the hated Chargers would create quite the rift between Kansas City Chiefs fans and Dwayne Bowe, but it could definitely happen with the sixth-year receiver scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

    Kansas City is under new leadership with the hiring of Andy Reid, and while one of his top priorities will be to retain productive players like Bowe, nothing official has been noted on whether he'll stay with the Chiefs.

    San Diego lacked receiver help last season even with the standout play of Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander, and last year's signings of Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal proved useless after both sustained injuries. 

    While Bowe would certainly boost San Diego's passing game, he'll probably come with a high price should he leave Kansas City.

WR Greg Jennings

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    After an early exit from the postseason, the Green Bay Packers could have big changes in store for 2013, and 29-year old WR Greg Jennings may not be in those plans.

    San Diego would benefit from Jennings' experience at the receiver position, but his minimal contributions on offense this past season is a bit concerning.

    Jennings played in just eight games and had the worst numbers of his seven-year career. 

    Taking the risk on a declining player is never a guarantee, but when healthy, Jennings has plenty to offer a team.

OT Jake Long

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    In the beginning, Jake Long looked the part of a franchise player for the Miami Dolphins when he was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in 2008, but 2012 was a subpar season for the 27-year-old.

    When Long sat out due to injury this season, the Dolphins found a suitable replacement in rookie tackle Jonathan Martin.

    It's no secret that offensive tackle is a major problem for the Chargers heading into 2013, and if Long is available at a price the Chargers feel comfortable paying, then they really have to consider him in free agency.

    Long's play may have declined, but he's a better option than what San Diego has right now.

DE Cliff Avril

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    Cliff Avril's 9.5 sacks this past season is worthy of a long-term extension, but the Detroit Lions may not be willing to spend the money. At just 26 years old, Avril still has a lot of football left, and many teams will be in the market for his skills if Detroit is unable to make a deal with the defensive end.

    San Diego's defense was much improved in 2012, especially the pass rush, but it still ranked near the middle of the pack in terms of sacks. Avril isn't a top priority with much bigger needs on offense still looming, but another pass-rusher in the mix wouldn't hurt.

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

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    Corner is another area of concern for the Chargers with 33-year-old Quentin Jammer scheduled to enter free agency. One name that could spark San Diego's interest is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

    During his three-year stint with the Arizona Cardinals, DRC got his hands on 13 interceptions. In his first two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, DRC has just three interceptions. Needless to say, he's been unable to emulate his success in Arizona to Philadelphia.

    That being said, there's no reason the Chargers shouldn't at least consider the 26-year-old.

CB Brent Grimes

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    Brent Grimes suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 1, and while the Atlanta Falcons may see him as a risk to re-sign, there will probably be teams looking to sign him for big money in free agency.

    Grimes' best seasons with the Falcons came during the 2009 and 2010 seasons in which he totaled 155 tackles and 11 interceptions.

    The past two seasons have been somewhat of letdown for grimes as he's struggled with injuries, but his combination of physical play and ball-hawking skills make him a worthy signing for San Diego.

OT Sebastian Vollmer

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    Sebastian Vollmer won't be easily persuaded to leave New England, but the opportunity to cash in big will definitely be there once free agency kicks off.

    As mentioned earlier, the Chargers have a need for offensive tackle and getting the chance to sign an experienced player greatly outweighs taking a shot on a rookie through the draft.

    Because the offensive line is such a mess, I could see the Chargers spending a lot of money on a marquee tackle.

WR Wes Welker

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    The New England Patriots could potentially place yet another franchise tag on veteran receiver Wes Welker following the end of their postseason run, but there is a slight chance the Pats let him walk.

    With cap space in question and a replacement forming in Julian Edelman, the Patriots may feel they have enough to continue their winning ways without Welker.

    Philip Rivers could benefit from an elite slot receiver like Welker, especially with how poorly Eddie Royal played in a similar role.

    Don't forget either that Welker and Rivers were once teammates when Welker was in training camp for the Chargers in 2004. 

    Rivers said in an interview once:

    “I liked Wes a lot,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. “Obviously, we hoped that he was going to be here a long time. It didn’t happen.”

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