The 5-foot-10 former first round pick stepped up his game in 2005 after beginning the year in the doghouse. He was made inactive weeks two and three of the season after having a stellar training camp.
It wasn't until he notched a start against Oakland on October 16 that Fletcher garnered the playing time dictated by his strong camp. And that was because Drayton Florence and Sammy Davis both were out with injury. When Florence returned, Fletcher retained the nickel role in the defense ahead of Davis on the depth chart.
What is the holdup? Cash – money – bling. The Chargers are not offering enough and Fletcher believes he can make more on the market.
He has a home in South Florida and still calls South Beach home. That could pave the way for a return to the east coast as the Chargers move on without his services.
The ideal situation for the Bolts would be in the first round of the draft. They are enamored with two of the hybrid players that will go in the first round – and we are not talking about 4-3 ends who would convert to linebacker. The Chargers are seeking cornerbacks that double as safeties or vice versa.
They would love to go back to University of Texas to grab Michael Huff, the top player in their sights. Huff, though, is currently out of their range unless they want to trade up in the draft – something that A.J. Smith will consider if the match is right in April.
"I've stayed focused, stayed out of trouble and did what I had to do," Huff said. And now he is reaping the benefits of his solid play.
The other player that fits the bill is widely popular on the forums – Ko Simpson out of South Carolina. Simpson, a sophomore named to the third-team AP All-America list last month, led South Carolina with 103 tackles this season and had one interception.
Simpson figures to be around at slot 19 and could be a cog to a defense that still ranked in the lower half of the league in pass defense despite placing fifth with 46 sacks.
The secondary remains a position that needs an upgrade or, more importantly, a playmaker. Only one defensive back netted more than one interception this past year, Bhawoh Jue with his three.
Moving ahead without Fletcher, there may be no other option than to look at the draft.