Free Agent Forecast: Jimmy Kennedy

With the coupling of Jamal Williams' ailments and Brandon McKinney's mediocre fill-in performances, the Chargers could use a new No. 2 nose tackle. Six-year veteran Jimmy Kennedy has the bulk and athleticism to provide not only depth, but a possible heir apparent to the 31-year-old Williams.

Jimmy Kennedy's one-year deal with the Chicago Bears is coming to a halt and the Chargers are in the market for a backup for Jamal Williams. Kennedy (6 foot 4, 320 pounds) boasts similar size to Williams, but has yet to show the same power or discipline.

Originally drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the first round of the 2003 draft, Kennedy failed to play up to his draft status.

However, he takes offense to the "bust" label.

"Who's to say I'm a bust? My numbers are solid," he said.

The figures he attested to were his 2006 numbers with the Rams. Kennedy started in all 16 games with 39 tackles, a sack and a pass deflection. Those numbers are respectable, but they hardly justify a top-12 selection.

After the 2006 season, the Rams decided to part ways with Kennedy. He never fit into the Rams' penetrating, one-gap defense. St. Louis valued speed over size, and Kennedy had much more of the latter.

Last offseason, the Denver Broncos gave up a sixth-round pick to get Kennedy from the Rams, but the former first-round pick didn't survive the season.

Kennedy got on tape for the final three games of the season with the Chicago Bears. He tacked on a pair of tackles in limited playing time.

Signing Kennedy would be a classic A.J. Smith move, as Kennedy comes with a rock-bottom price and sky-high potential.

Although Kennedy has experienced limited success in the NFL, he has the ability to thrive in the right system. San Diego, a team that utilizes bigger defenders, could be the perfect fit.

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of Lorenzo Neal, Shaun Phillips, Shawne Merriman and many other for Sixthman Communications.


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