Free agent follow-up: Where are they now?

General Manager A.J. Smith was not a player in this year's free agent market, but he did see some of his players leave that way. Since the signing period opened in March, the Chargers have seen four of their own ink deals elsewhere. Here is a look at each of the departed players, as well as their replacements in San Diego.

The most important player the Chargers lost in free agency wound up signing with one of San Diego's biggest rivals. Donnie Edwards returned to the team that drafted him 11 years ago, signing a three-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. The stat-stacked Edwards has 27 career interceptions and totaled at least 120 tackles each of the last nine seasons.

He will be replaced by Matt Wilhelm, who has spent the last four years being groomed for this promotion. Wilhelm is bigger and more physical than Edwards, but lacks experience and know-how in coverage. The first-time starter will have his hands full in replacing the cagey veteran.

Another player set to ply his trade elsewhere is Leander Jordan, as the reserve offensive tackle agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons. Jordan struggled playing left tackle with the Chargers, but has the size and run-blocking ability to be effective at right tackle or guard. His departure could open a roster spot for Jeromey Clary, a sixth-round pick from the 2006 draft.

The third defector is Ryan Krause, who signed a one-year with the Cleveland Browns. Krause is now reunited with former tight ends coach Rod Chudzinski, who is the new offensive coordinator in Cleveland. Krause will likely be replaced by Legedu Naanee, a receiver-tight end hybrid who only drives when sober.

The final Charger to seek greener pastures is Az-Zahir Hakim, who settled for the aqua-green of the Miami Dolphins. There, Hakim will continue his development in Cam Cameron's offense, which began last season when the two were in San Diego. Hakim was an injury replacement for Malcom Floyd, who is once again healthy and ready to reassume his place on the depth chart.

The Chargers also have three former starters still wading in the free agent pool. Keenan McCardell, Randall Godfrey and Terrence Kiel all remain unsigned; although, that is likely to change as training camps draw near.

So, it is inaccurate to say that the Chargers are not involved in free agency. Although they are not dipping into the pool, they are doing their part to fill it.


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