San Diego Chargers: Projecting the Team's Free-Agent Targets
Tom Telesco has been pretty quiet thus far. Takeo Spikes was released this week, but the new GM hasn't tipped his hand as to his plans for free agency. Of course, the Chargers' needs aren't exactly a secret.
But as Kevin Acee reported on Twitter, the Bolts have made no overtures to free-agent guard Louis Vasquez after suggesting that he would be a priority. Could this reveal the organization's plans for the draft or for their pursuit of available players?
In compiling this short list, I evaluated the Chargers' needs and the risks/rewards of the prospective player.
1. Eric Winston
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Tom Krasovic wrote in today's Union-Tribune that signing Winston to replace Jeromey Clary is far from a no-brainer. While Winston's time in Kansas City was pretty rocky, Clary has been a weak link on the line for quite some time.
Some will undoubtedly argue that Clary, like Antoine Cason, is a scapegoat for management's mistakes. You'll often see the words, "he's not THAT bad" appear in many blog comment sections. But he's certainly not that good either, especially for a team that needs better blocking.
Winston may not ultimately be the guy to do it, but Clarry needs to be supplanted. His performance simply doesn't warrant any kind of job security in San Diego.
2. Andy Levitre
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If not Winston, then who? Tom Krasovic suggested yesterday that the guard from Buffalo would be a good fit. During the John Butler/AJ Smith era, the Chargers and Bills often shared personnel. As Shawne Merriman's retirement emphasizes, Buffalo hasn't always gotten the better of the arrangement.
Levitre would probably cost less than Winston and appears to be pretty durable. After signing Jared Gaither, the Chargers might be a little skittish about signing anyone whose last team was the Chiefs.
3. Victor Butler
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Linebacker may not be an immediate area of need right now, but Shaun Phillip's future in San Diego is still unclear. Most likely he'll be elsewhere. If the Chargers and John Pagano want to continue to run a 3-4 defense, they need playmakers. Another Butler at linebacker wouldn't hurt.
4. Dunta Robinson
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The Chargers shouldn't be sold on any of their cornerbacks right now. The defensive line gave Boltheads a lot of reason to be hopeful in 2012, but it won't mean much if the secondary can't cover.
Of the three veterans that the Falcons let go recently, Robinson is the one that might fit in San Diego. As nostalgic as I am, I'm not sure re-signing Michael Turner would be the right move going forward.
5. Derek Cox
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If the Chargers are looking to bolster the defensive backfield via free agency, Cox might be another option. If there truly is the "vigorous market" for Cox that his agent suggested to the Florida Times-Union (h/t Rotoworld), then San Diego won't be in the mix. But as is the case in the NFL draft, players' value can drop according to the market.