Perspective, clarity and the Chargers

The fascination continues. <br><br> There were plenty of options to upgrade the free safety position and Bhawoh Jue is a definite start. He is a little raw as he only saw spot duty with the Green Bay Packers but when he was placed into a tough situation as a rookie he excelled.

There is no reason to believe he can't reproduce the same attitude in San Diego.

A former running back, Jue is at his best in coverage. He had some trouble with double-moves in the NFL and what do you do when a cornerback gets beat by such a receiver? You turn him into a safety so he is facing forward the majority of the time.

What is baffling, however, is the team's blind faith in Jerry Wilson. He was a perfect compliment to the raw secondary during the first two years of his tenure in San Diego. He brings leadership to the unit and is the commander – calling out the assignments.

The problem is his range. It is less than ideal for the centerfielder. As the cornerbacks gain experience – and they enter year three and four of their careers, a safety with range that can provide over the top help is a must.

If Drayton Florence and Quentin Jammer are the starters, and indications point to that as true, then a rover who can make up for their aggressiveness is a must. Both are physical defenders but will get beat deep on occasion. That is the risk from the rewards.

Jue may be able to make up the ground, but Jerry Wilson cannot. Clinton Hart is also a better option patrolling the back lines.

If there is any solace in the move, it points back to Ryan McNeil. He was signed by the Chargers in 2001 and they moved him to safety prior to the 2003 season, with three years left on his contract. During training camp, McNeil was cut by the team as the team went with Kwamie Lassiter.

The situation is slightly different but if Jue delivers than Wilson could be expendable.

It appears they are, for the most part, done in free agency.

With all the cap room, one would think they could jump on a number of available players. But the truth is they are not yet ready to make that jump to snare a player that would ensure a bid in the Super Bowl. That is why A.J. Smith will not pull the trigger on a big-time playmaker.

Saving cap room this year will also ensure they have cap room in the future. While Smith professes that he is only looking at '05, the truth is he has an eye towards the future. Deals for Antonio Gates are in the works as they try to lock him up to a multi-year deal and if they don't lock him up this year, they have to save cap space for the next year when he is a restricted free agent.

Don't forget about getting the big man up front, Toniu Fonoti, signed to a new deal. The Bolts believe in the masher and want to lock up a future Pro Bowler for years to come.

Imagine another team pulling a Jeb Putzier on the Chargers and they are out of the running because they lack the cap room to match for their restricted free agent. Not an enviable position to be in.

The ownership has never been cheap – but they sometimes haven't been smart. Smith eyes the future while taking a hard look at the present.

And that is just one example. What happens if Drew Brees duplicates his success of a year ago? Will they be forced to make cuts just to afford placing the franchise tag on him again?

While the plan may not make sense to the masses looking to fill holes with top-notch talent, even this twisted mind can look into the crystal ball and see Smith and the team isn't insane. Misguided – sometimes. No more than me or you.


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