Chargers Conducting Business Home and Away

By now everyone knows that the San Diego Chargers went out to Iowa to scout Robert Gallery firsthand in order to find out more about the man behind the mask, but they had unfinished business going on at Chargers Park with linebacker Randall Godfrey in town. How could they have been in both places at once?

They couldn't.

While they were out entertaining Robert Gallery and checking in on Nate Kaeding of Iowa, Randall Godfrey was en route to San Diego. The Chargers top people, AJ Smith, Buddy Nix and Marty Schottenheimer were in Iowa and flew back shortly after practice. They went out a day early to have dinner with Gallery and breakfast with Kaeding. They knew they did not have long as unattended business remained back on the home front.

After a full day, the Chargers contingency flew back to San Diego in order to begin the process of courting Godfrey.

Likely, while they were in the air the team found out about Barrett Green signing with the New York Giants. Green had originally been slated to visit the Chargers later this week.

"Coach Coughlin is one of the main reasons I decided to play for the Giants," said Green.

And the linebackers available lost another cog. At 30,000 feet, the discussions surely turned to the remaining linebackers on the market. Dhani Jones, Ian Gold, Brandon Short, and Randall Godfrey.

Gold tore his ACL midseason and is reportedly asking for way too much money. That eliminates him from contention.

Jones was the starting middle linebacker for the Giants in '03, his first year as a starter. He posted 101 tackles, but had very few big plays. He is currently viewed as a bad fit for the 3-4, one AFC scout said.

Short is on the list to be brought in, but with Washington courting him it would seem a longshot. Not many teams can contend with what Washington is doing this offseason. Seattle is also interested and Short may never make the visit being planned.

That leaves the current man in town, Randall Godfrey. So where are they at?

His agent, Ben Dogra, confirmed that Godfrey "has spoken to Marty Schottenheimer." He said nothing would happen Monday night, but continued by saying Godfrey would be in town on Tuesday.

The wine and dine will start early. Godfrey is a veteran presence to a still young defense.

"Youth is nice, but at some point you need veteran guidance," Dogra said.

And now, with another linebacker off the board and the picking slim, the Chargers may have to pay a little more to secure his services. It is similar to the Dolphins gaffe of canceling visits with other lineman when they were about to announce the signing of former Bolt, Damion McIntosh. The Dolphins have painted themselves into a corner with offensive linemen flying off the free agency board.

The Chargers may have their last shot at a linebacker right here, right now. By bringing him in, the Chargers have acknowledged that he is someone they covet to some degree. They would do well to make that point on Tuesday.

As one NFL scout told us, "With a team like the Chargers with overall questionable defensive line depth and talent, the 3-4 defense, one which head coach Marty Schottenheimer and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips are well-versed with, may be the quickest solution for defensive consistency in San Diego."

The hint is to pick up another linebacker who has been there and done that. Randall Godfrey may be that guy and not that this is a shot at Godfrey, but, it will become increasingly hard to let him leave town when there is so little left in the market.

En-"Lightning" News: The agent for Orlando Brown is working on closing deals with one of three teams, Tampa Bay, Oakland or Baltimore, and Ephraim Salaam is attempting to latch on with Baltimore and Seattle. The talks have progressed enough in both cases that is appears unlikely that either will make a trip to San Diego.

The Chargers tendered the minimum to their restricted and exclusive rights free agents: C Jason Ball, RB Jesse Chatman, DT DeQuincy Scott, WR Eric Parker, LBs Carlos Polk and Zeke Moreno, DE Otis Leverette, CB Kevin House and TE Josh Norman.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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