Are the Chargers better?

The natives are restless.<br>The fans are restless.<br> The media is restless.<br> Welcome to the Chargers' baffling offseason.

The team chased another Pro Bowler out of town recently, while singing the praises of orchestrating a deal to rid themselves of David Boston. While the wide receiver starts to hang his shingle in Miami, the patient Chargers fans -- is that redundant? -- wonder when the team's brass is going to get serious about rebuilding the woeful squad.

Can't blame the locals for scratching their heads. Since the curtain fell on last year's 4-12 disaster -- the franchise's 10th double-digit losing season in Alex Spanos' 20 years of ownership -- the team hasn't done much.

What, you're not hyped about the acquisitions of linebackers Steve Foley and Randall Godfrey, or linemen Mike Goff and Leander Jordan?

On the other side of the ledger, the team has jettisoned two Pro Bowlers (defensive end Marcellus Wiley and Boston), a defensive end from its Super Bowl season (Raylee Johnson), a punter from the NFL's latest All-Decade team (Darren Bennett), both starting offensive tackles (Damion McIntosh and Vaughn Parker) and a reliable backup center in Cory Raymer.

"I think we're better than last year," general manager A.J. Smith said.

One couldn't tell if Smith's nose grew when uttering those words. What's evident is the Chargers aren't rebuilding as much as they are tearing things down and starting fresh. And maybe that's the way to go. But right now, as the calendar gets close to turning to April, there's little spring in the Charger faithful's steps.

"There's lots of ways to get players, and there's a long ways to go until training camp and that first game in September," Smith said.

First, the Chargers need to get some players. And with the free-agency market drying up faster than season-ticket sales, the Chargers need to pull some rabbits from their hats.

There is the draft, where the Chargers clutch the No. 1 pick. And there is the June cutdowns that adds players to the NFL landscape. Still, one can't fault those Chargers watchers for wondering if this offseason -- like so many others -- will turn out to be all wet.

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