NFL Free Agency: San Diego Chargers Possible Cut List Prior to 2011 Season

Alex MonacoContributor IIMarch 22, 2011

NFL Free Agency: San Diego Chargers Possible Cut List Prior to 2011 Season

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    PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 11:  Mike Goff #79, Kris Dielman #68, Jeromey Clary #66 and Shaun Phillips #95 of the San Diego Chargers wait in the tunnel before taking the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 11
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    The San Diego Chargers have been through more playoff and "what if" scenarios then any other team in the NFL who has still come short of a Super Bowl ring.  However, A.J. Smith is a faithful general manager to this organization.  He believes in the talent he brings in, and for the most part, sticks it out with each individual player he takes a chance on. 

    However, San Diego after last season has some necessary moves to make. After all, the NFL is not just about touchdowns and touchdown celebrations. It's a business.  A cruel one at that.  

    San Diego is a fully equipped roster full of versatile talent that can prevail on any given Sunday.  Still, the Chargers will have to, like most teams, send guys home that they may have needed last year, but this year, it's a different story.

    Let's take a look at what the Chargers roster should look like prior to the 2011 NFL football season.

5. Tyrone Carter

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    PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 20: Tyrone Carter #23 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers on December 20, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Tyrone Carter is set to enter his 12th season in the NFL.  Last season with the Chargers, Carter had 12 tackles in seven total games.  

    Although he knows what it's like to win a championship (two with Pittsburgh), the soon to be 35 year old may be shown the exit door due to San Diego's new additions on defense.

    The result of this may mean doing away with Carter before he begins his second season with the team.

4. Dante Hughes

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    INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 28:  Javarris James #42 of the Indianapolis Colts fumbles the ball while being  tackled by Stephen Cooper #54 and Dante Hughes #33 of the San Diego Chargers during the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28, 2010 in Indianapo
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Since coming over from the Indianapolis Colts in 2009, Dante Hughes has been a solid role player in the defensive backfield for the San Diego Chargers.  

    Unfortunately for Hughes, the Chargers since the offseason have made it clear that all positions are going to be difficult to fill.  Take the signing of former AP defensive player of the year, Bob Sanders, as a new kind of statement/sheriff in town.

    Dante, who's coming off a career high season in tackles (26), is looking to contribute more in his soon to be fifth season in the NFL if not in San Diego, then elsewhere.  

    It looks like we could have a conflict of interest between the two parties.  

3. Travis Johnson

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    SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 20: Defensive lineman Travis Johnson #96 of the San Diego Chargers battles at the line against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 20, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.    (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Travis Johnson, since arriving in San Diego in 2009, has not won an opportunity to start on defense yet.  He's recorded 30 total tackles for the Chargers, but has not been used nearly as much in San Diego as he was in Houston where he started 38 total games from 2005-2008.

    Johnson, at 6'3", 311 pounds, has proved he knows how to be a successful run stopper on defense.  Anthony Garay just so happened to have a noticeable 32 tackle 5.5 sack season that caught the eye and thus dealt a tough hand in turn to Johnson who's been battling for a starting spot in the rotation on the d-line for two years running.

    It could be that second year defensive tackle, Cam Thomas, and third year Ogemdi Nwagbuo get the nod on the depth chart, leaving Johnson looking for work with another team.

2. Kelley Washington

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 12:  Kelley Washington #87 of the San Diego Chargers runs after his catch during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium on December 12, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Kelley Washington was "Mr. Third-down" when the Chargers needed clutch catches in the second half of last season.  Washington had 13 receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown in just eight games with San Diego.

    Washington, at this stage in his career, is looking for a stable environment.  However, he is 31 years old on a roster that's looking to remain as youthful as possible.

    If the Spanos brothers want to keep this receiving core a youthful bunch, they wont oblige to any kind of financial investment with the ex-Bengal/Patriot/Raven.

1. Legedu Naanee

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    SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 03:  Wide receiver Legedu Naanee #11 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Qualcomm Stadium on October 3, 2010 in San Diego, California.  The Chargers won 41-10.  (Photo by Stephen
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Legedu Naanee has been nothing but a productive slot receiver for the San Diego Chargers since coming to the team five years ago.   

    Although Naanee had a career season in 2010, he recently violated NFL regulations with an incident back in February in Indianapolis.  It's a tough spot for the Chargers who aren't entirely sure how to handle the situation with Naanee.  What we do know is that A.J. Smith handles conduct issues in a diligent manner.  

    Due to "off the field issues" the former Boise State wideout may be playing football in a different uniform by next fall.