Scouting the Playoffs- Saturday

Before picking 1st in the 2004 NFL Draft the San Diego Chargers will first look to upgrade their roster via free agency. Wild-card weekend is concluded and the playoffs get down to the nitty gritty. The eight teams remaining potentially present some interesting free agents for the Chargers. Here are the players to keep a tab on during this weekend's games...<br><br>

Titans at Patriots


DT- Robaire Smith 6/4 310- 4th NFL season: Smith has turned into a fine NFL tackle and would fit nice alongside Jamal Williams. The Chargers have gone this route before signing former Titans Jason Fisk and Joe Salave'a to help the defensive line. Smith posted 35 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries this season.

Outlook: The Titans don't possess a lot of depth behind Smith and may make a hard push to re-sign him. His youth and upside mirror some of the Chargers recent free agent picks.

DE- Javon Kearse 6/4 260-5th NFL season: The man known as "the freak" should be a hot commodity this offseason. Kearse registered 41 tackles and 9.5 sacks this season.

Outlook: With so much dough tied up in Marcellus Wiley, it will be hard to justify paying the price that Kearse would command. Kearse has some trouble staying healthy which may make this an unwise investment.

TE Erron Kinney 6/5 275-4th NFL season:Kinney is a huge TE and good run blocker. Would help open holes for LaDainian Tomlinson. Kinney also possesses good pass catching skills posting 41 catches for 381 yards and 3 TD's this season.

Outlook: Though not a need for the bolts it's hard to see Kinney not fitting well. If he can be had for the right price he's worth a look. Kinney combined with the solid Justin Peelle and rising Antonio Gates would give the Chargers youth and depth at the TE position.


DT- Ted Washington 6/5 ??? -14th NFL season: Mammoth space eating tackle would help the Charger run defense by tying up blockers and allowing others to make more plays.

Outlook: Big Ted is nearing the end of his career and would be a stop gap solution to a gaping problem. If he is not picked up towards the end of the offseason he might be worth a look.

OG/C- Damien Woody 6/3 320 -5th NFL season: The versatile Woody can play center or guard. Pro bowl talent who could be a little tougher and work a bit harder. Playing very well this season.

Outlook: The Chargers need help on the line and Woody might be had for a decent price since he doesn't play tackle. Would upgrade the guard positions and his ability to play center make him an attractive pick. AJ are you listening? Patriots might be reluctant to let him get away (played at Boston College).

Panthers at Rams


LB- Greg Favors 6/1 244 -6th NFL season: Plays over the tight end and could possibly challenge Ben Leber. Posted 75 tackles this season.

Outlook: Might not be better than Leber but would provide veteran depth. Would have to settle for a small contract with Chargers. Slim possibility.

MLB Lester Towns 6/1 245 -4th NFL season: Started for Carolina in 2000 and 2001, now backs up Dan Morgan at MLB. Not real fast, more of a two down run stuffer.

Outlook: The Chargers need an upgrade at this position and Towns may be one. Not the best option but is young and has some experience. Matt Wilhelm holds one of the keys to what the Bolts do at MLB.

K John Kasay- 5/10 198 -11th NFL season: Anyone that has a legitimate shot to make a field goal over 45 yards would be an upgrade for the Chargers. Kasay was 32 of 38 on the season with a long of 56. His most impressive stat is going 11 for 13 on tries between 40-49 yards.

Outlook: The Chargers may have to outbid the Panthers but he'd probably be worth it. Kasay has made 80% for his career.

OG Kevin Donnalley 6/5 310 -13th NFL season: Donnalley plays right guard and he plays it well. A physical presence who would fit with the Chargers. Donnalley has 144 starts under his belt and made it through the past two seasons healthy.

Outlook: The Chargers need veteran help on the line and Donnalley is as veteran as they come. The Panthers paid a lot of money to get him however he is 35 so he might be had at a reasonable price. Donnalley played college ball at North Carolina so it might be tough to pry him from the Panthers.

OT Matt Willig 6/8 315 - 10th NFL season: Went to USC so he might like to play in San Diego. Willig has mainly been a back up but does have 34 starts on his resume.

Outlook: Can play RT or LT and he'd be a decent third tackle. Age is a factor (34).


OG Adam Timmerman 6/4 310 - 9th NFL season: Hasn't missed a start in 8 seasons. Solid all around player at RG. Chargers need talent and health along the line. Timmerman's track record speaks volumes. Plays with attitude and toughness.

Outlook: Signing Timmerman would improve the line's overall play and durability. High priority player for the Chargers.

DE Grant Winstrom 6/4 272 -6th NFL season: Mr. Hustle with speed. Winstrom plays with passion and he produces. 60 tackles and 7.5 sacks on the season. Sack number is misleading, Winstrom wreaks havoc in the backfield.

Outlook: The Chargers have a lot of money tied up at the DE position which may make this a longshot. Winstrom should command a nice contract. The perfect compliment to Marcellus Wiley.

OT Orlando Pace 6/7 325 - 7th NFL Season: The best left tackle that doesn't reside in Baltimore would make LaDainian Tomlinson a happy man.

Outlook: Wants huge money. The Chargers have a glaring need at this position but signing Pace and a #1 draft pick in the same offseason would eat up the cap. Probably be worth it though.

Sunday's match ups coming soon! Send us a line on our insiders' board to discuss free agency, the draft and more.

Will-full Wisdom: With Eli Manning sitting out the Senior Bowl, will Marty fall in love with another signal caller? We know Phil Rivers will be there, he has drawn comparisons to Bernie Kosar. Marty coached Kosar while in Cleveland. Perhaps JP Lossman will go and have a David Carr like experience (Carr saw his draft stock soar from his Senior Bowl performance). Early money has Lossman going in the 2nd round. Interesting...

Will Mortensen can be reached at

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