As February flies by, March is right around the corner, which means that we are inching closer and closer to free agency.
Free agency is a great time for NFL fans who all are hoping their team lands a big-time player. For the San Diego Chargers free agency provides a chance to fill holes and add depth at many positions before the 2013 NFL Draft.
Although new Chargers general manger Tom Telesco has already stated (via Chargers.com) his team will build through the draft rather than sign free agents, he also added that the Chargers would use free agency to add depth at positions of need.
While I don’t expect the Chargers to go out and sign very many (if any) marquee free agents, it is important to address the issues on the offensive line and in the secondary through both the draft and free agency. While free agency looms over the Chargers, Internet rumors have begun to fly around about whom the Chargers are interested in.
Here is a breakdown of who is rumored to have gathered the Chargers' attention and whether fans should buy into the hype or quickly sell it.
George Wilson is a safety that was recently released by the Buffalo Bills and, according to SB Nation, could be an option for the Chargers. The Chargers are in dire need of depth in the secondary. No one is quite sure where Quentin Jammer will end up, and with Brandon Taylor recovering from ACL surgery, the Chargers do not have much depth at the safety position.
Wilson would fit nicely next to Eric Weddle and has the ability to be a big-time addition for the Bolts. The thing that could be holding the Chargers back would be Wilson’s price tag (upper two million per year). Wilson would be an upgrade over Atari Bigby, who is often injured and a terrible tackler in the open field.
All of this makes Wilson worth the price tag. The Chargers do not need much help on the defensive side of the ball. They are one or two moves from being a great defensive unit. Wilson would go a long way in aiding the Chargers as they continue to try and get back on track in the AFC West.
The addition of Wilson would also free up the Chargers, who could cross off safety from their draft wish list and shift their focus on adding offensive help. If Telesco can manage to get Wilson to sign for a reasonable price, he is a no-brainer for the Chargers.
Brandon Albert is another name that has been floated around in association with the Chargers since the 2012 season came to an end. The current Kansas City Chief could become a free agent if the Chiefs don't reach a long-term deal with Albert or franchise him. John Gennaro of SB Nation adds that Albert could be a great fit for San Diego.
Albert would be a great pickup for the Chargers, but in reality it doesn’t make sense. The Chargers currently have five offensive tackles signed through 2013. With plenty of good options coming in the draft it is very unlikely that the Chargers will want to spend a high amount on a tackle in free agency.
Another reason this option does not make sense for the Bolts is that it is highly unlikely Albert will even make it to the free-agent market. If the Chiefs cannot reach a multi-year contract they will most likely franchise tag Albert. If he does reach the market, his price tag will be way to high for the Chargers to take on with the draft lingering.
Like I said in the introduction, I don’t believe that Chargers will sign any marquee free agents due to their price tags. Albert falls into that marquee category.
Shonn Greene is a name that was floated by ESPN’s Bill Willamson. Although adding a veteran back such as Greene would be enticing for the Chargers, they are much better suited adding running back depth in the draft with late-round help that will be much cheaper.
The Chargers aren’t in drastic need for a running back, but with Ryan Mathews’ chronic injury problems it would be smart for the Chargers to have as many backups as possible. Greene could come in right away and produce. The idea of combining a 1,000-yard rusher in Greene with Mathews would be ideal.
However, I believe the Chargers go a different route and invest in Edwin Baker or find a player in the late rounds of the draft, such as Robbie Rouse.
Greene won’t be a free agent for long and he won’t be calling San Diego his new home either. The Chargers have limited cash and there are other needs on the offensive side of the ball that money will be used on.
Gosder Cherilus is not a name that many NFL fans are familiar with, yet he might be the answer for the Chargers in free agency. Cherilus is currently a Detroit Lion that has played five years in the NFL, but it he is unlikely to be retained as Detroit already has Jeff Backus and Riley Reiff.
In Cherilus' five years he has started 16 games three times including two straight 16-game seasons. He is durable and should come with a relatively cheap price tag, two things the Chargers love.
Cherilus could come into San Diego and immediately challenge Jeromey Clary for the starting right tackle position. Clary has struggled in San Diego and it is time for him to move on or be pushed to a point where if he must get better or the Chargers make a change. Cherilus is the perfect guy to do this. He has the experience and potential to be a great fit for the Chargers.
If the Chargers are going to use their limited free-agency funds on an offensive lineman, Cherilus offers the Chargers the most bang for their buck.
If the Chargers do decide to bring in Cherilus, one of the five offensive tackles will also have to be cut. Cherilus has the potential to be Tom Telesco’s first diamond-in-the-rough signing, which will help get the ball moving in San Diego.
Greg Jennings is going to be a hot name once free agency begins, but do not expect the Chargers to be making any calls to Jennings’ agent.
Although the Chargers need to find a way to get more weapons around Philip Rivers, Jennings would be way too much money for the Chargers to take on. Bleacher Report's Soven Bery believes that Jennings is the answer to the Chargers' offensive woes. However, the real problem is the offensive line. The intake of Jennings' salary would halt any movement to upgrade that unit..
The Chargers needs to re-sign Danario Alexander, who will come a lot cheaper and already has great chemistry with Rivers. Jennings goes against Tom Telesco’s philosophy. Much like running back, if the Chargers are going to add depth to the wide receiver position it will come through the draft, not free agency, and the Chargers will use a late round pick.
The Chargers don’t need Jennings and he will be more than likely find more money elsewhere. That is why it is important to sell all Jennings rumors if you are a Chargers fan.