NFL: San Diego Chargers Jump on Free Agency, Signing Strong Safety Bob Sanders

Jay BrownContributor IMarch 3, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 23: Bob Sanders #21 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball against the Houston Texans on December 23, 2007 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The Colts beat the Texans 38-15.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

In a move that San Diego Chargers fans were hoping for, former Indianapolis Colts strong safety Bob Sanders will be wearing powder blue, navy and gold this season.

The Chargers signed Sanders to a one-year deal Thursday; financial terms were not disclosed.

San Diego took steps to bolster a defense that was ranked first in total defense and fewest passing yards allowed last season.

Sanders is the hard-hitting safety the Chargers have been looking for since Rodney Harrison was shown the door. However, there is a reason why the Colts didn't re-sign the former 2007 AP Defensive Player of the Year and two-time Pro Bowl Selection—a year after Sanders helped the Colts to their second Super Bowl championship in franchise history, he recorded 96 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions.

He has missed a considerable amount of playing time over the past few seasons though due to injuries. Sanders has missed 39 regular season games since the 2007 season, and he was lost for the 2010 season after suffering a torn biceps at Houston on September 12.

Chargers general manager A.J. Smith made a perfect comment regarding Sanders' style, saying, "His intensity and playmaking ability can make an immediate impact on our defense."

I have to admit, I am really surprised Smith even pursued Sanders, but I guess even "The Lord of No Rings" knows a deal when he sees it.

Smith continued, "We are all very excited to add Bob Sanders to our defense, we have always held him in high regard. He's a smart, physical, instinctive player."

With this early move, the Chargers can now focus on using their draft picks in April to address other areas of greater concern, namely defensive line, linebacker and offensive line.

Now that Sanders is a Charger, what are the Bolts going to do with Eric Weddle and Paul Oliver?

Both Weddle and Oliver were tendered restricted free agent contracts on Wednesday, and while both have play-making abilities, neither of them brings the hard-hitting quality Sanders possesses.

It will be interesting to see how the Bob Sanders signing affects free agency, even though free agency hasn't started. Maybe Dean Spanos knows something the rest of us don't; Spanos is one of the owners on the NFL's Labor Committee.

All I know, is that I will be very excited to see Bob Sanders in a Chargers uniform.