Telesco and McCoy let veteran Chargers test the free-agency market, worrying some fans of a repeat of A.J. Smith’s habit of penny-pinching while also draining the team of talent.
The signings of King Dunlap, Derek Cox and Danny Woodhead were received indifferently by fans, but all three had an impact on the team.
Dunlap was viewed as a situational player but not an answer to the left tackle issue. Cox was widely thought of as the best cornerback in free agency. Woodhead was considered a versatile but not an every-down player.
Cox was touted as a great signing, but he ended up being benched. But his signing signified a reversal of the A.J. Smith era, when top free agents were released instead of brought in.
Dunlap, when healthy, turned out to be a rock on Rivers’ blind side. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Dunlap graded out as the best offensive lineman on the team. In fact, only Philip Rivers had a higher grade among the team’s offensive players.
Woodhead turned out to be one of the best free-agent signings in all of the NFL. He finished the regular season with 1,034 total yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns.