Protection Philip Rivers is the Chargers' top priority this offseason.
For the first time in many years the San Diego Chargers are starting over. Free agency—which starts at 4 p.m. EST—provides new general manager Tom Telesco with his first opportunity to add to a depleted roster.
It’s easy to take the best player available in the draft if you address most of your needs through free agency. That doesn’t mean the Chargers should overspend on top-tier free agents, but it does mean identifying good values and scheme fits. Telesco has a significant challenge in front of him and not a lot of resources at his disposal.
The Chargers' biggest areas of need are the offensive line and the secondary. There is uncertainty at four of the five starting positions on the offensive line. The team also needs two starting cornerbacks and a safety. Finding two starting tackles and two cornerbacks will be Telesco’s primary concerns.
There’s also a need for a linebacker or two, a running back to challenge Ryan Mathews and a nose tackle. Realistically, Telesco is not going to be able to address every need with the caliber of players that he would prefer. It’s a team game, which means an impact player or two and a few solid players can go a long way.
It will be interesting to see what the Chargers do in free agency to address their needs and which positions they leave open for draft picks to fill. This is your go-to article for all the rumors, signings and grades throughout free agency as it will be updated regularly.
Eric Winston would be a good fit one the Chargers, but he might be in high demand.
March 21: The Chargers announced the signing of offensive guard Rich Ohrnberger.
March 18: Derex Cox's contract includes a $5.2 million signing bonus according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
March 15: The Chargers announced that they have re-signed running back Ronnie Brown.
March 13: Derex Cox will sign a four-year contract worth $20 million with $10.25 million guaranteed according to Seam Jensen of the Chicago Tribune.
March 13: The Chargers have reached an agreement with cornerback Derek Cox according to Grant Paulson of 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. It's a four-year deal per Paulson.
March 13: Tight end John Phillips contract is for three years and is worth $5.275 million. The deal includes $2 million signing bonus and incentives according to Mike Garafolo of the USA Today.
March 13: The Chargers announced the re-signing of kick returner Richard Goodman.
March 13: Chad Rinehart's deal is worth $1.75 million according to Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press.
March 13: The Chargers are one of several teams interested in cornerback Captain Munnerlyn according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
March 12: Running back Fozzy Whittaker was claimed off waivers according to Ricky Henne of Chargers.com.
March 12: The Chargers have signed offensive tackle King Dunlap according to Adam Caplan.
March 12: According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Chargers signed tight end John Phillips.
March 12: The Chargers announced the signing of kicker Nick Novack to a four-year contract.
March 12: The Chargers had right tackle Eric Winston in for a visit according to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego. Winston is a perfect fit with the Chargers because he is experienced in the zone-blocking scheme that the Chargers will likely use more of next season.
March 11: Jerraud Powers and Derek Cox are both a part of a group of cornerbacks the Chargers are interested in signing according to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego. The Chargers desperately need cornerbacks and Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer are both unlikely to return to the team.
March 9: According to Bill Williamson of ESPN, the Chargers agreed to a four-year deal with kicker Nick Novack and also re-signed long snapper Mike Windt.
Cornerback Derek Cox would be a great addition.
March 21: OG Rich Ohrnberger signed a one-year contract. Terms are not yet available.
March 15: RB Ronnie Brown re-signed. Terms are not yet available.
March 15: RB Danny Woodhead signed a two-year contract. Terms are not yet available.
March 13: CB Derek Cox signed a four-year, $20 million contract with $10.25 million guaranteed and a $5.2 million signing bonus.
March 13: KR Richard Goodman signed a one-year contract. Terms are not yet available.
March 13: OG Chad Rinehart signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
March 12: RB Fozzy Whittaker claimed off waivers.
March 12: OT King Dunlap. Terms are not yet available.
March 12: TE John Phillips signed for three years, $5.275 million with $2 million signing bonus and incentives.
The Chargers aren't expected to bring back cornerback Antoine Cason.
March 19: The Colts announced they have reached an agreement in principle with nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin.
March 15: Antoine Cason signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals according to Kent Somers of azcentral.com. Adam Caplan reports the deal is worth $1.5 with an additional $500,000 in incentives.
Kind Dunlap can play either right or left tackle.
The Chargers entered free agency with a need at offensive tackle and quickly moved to address the position by signing King Dunlap. The terms of the deal are not yet available, but provided the Chargers didn't break the bank for him, the signing makes a lot of sense.
Dunlap is a very good signing if the goal this offseason for the Chargers is finding offensive linemen who can protect Philip Rivers. ProFootballFocus gave Dunlap a positive pass-blocking grade in 2012, proving that he's an NFL starter at one of the NFL's toughest positions.
Dunlap didn't grade as well run blocking, with four good games and four bad games according to ProFootballFocus. You might say it is unfair to judge Dunlap's run blocking in the pass-happy Eagles' offense. Dunlap did have a few good games, which means he can be successful pushing the pile in the run game. Dunlap is plenty athletic enough to zone block, which the Chargers will likely use to some extent in 2013.
Without knowing the contract details, it seems like a very good addition for the Chargers. Losing Louis Vasquez hurts, but it's much easier to replace a player on the interior than it is outside.