Bolts Target Running Back from AFC Rival

With Michael Turner signing with the Atlanta Falcons, the Chargers are in the market for a backup running back. A league insider tells Scout.com that San Diego is eying a runner from an AFC rival. Problem is, he hasn't been released by his current team...yet.

The Chargers may invade Raider Nation and make a play for LaMont Jordan. A league source told Scout.com's Adam Caplan that, if the Oakland Raiders release their No. 2 back, the Chargers could extract the most interest.

Jordan is similar to the man he would replace, Michael Turner. Turner and Jordan are both big, powerful backs who were drafted to play behind superstars.

In fact, Jordan's finest attributes are found through comparisons to Turner.

"Jordan is a fiery competitor who hates to lose," Raiders expert Denis Savage said. "He runs well between the tackles and has a bruising style that can pick up the tough yards. He has some Michael Turner in him, but lacks the breakaway speed. He can be great for a winning club."

After earning a spot in the AFC Championship Game, the Chargers qualify as exactly that. However, Jordan's negatives could deter the image-conscious Chargers.

"Jordan has an attitude and it can rub people the wrong way," Savage said. "When things go bad, his running suffers in the decision-making process."

Philip Rivers' mouth ran more toward the end of last season, so the Chargers are used to the extra publicity. The Raiders, on the other hand, are sick of it.

"At this stage, with the Raiders trying to establish a new identity--getting rid of a lot of the bad-boy persona--so Jordan does not fit the mold," Savage said. "He could be a valuable back who spells LaDainian Tomlinson and shares part of the load, and has underrated hands out of the backfield."

The Raiders struggled to find a way to use Jordan effectively. Norv Turner figured it out when he the head coach of the Raiders. Jordan's best season came in 2005 with Turner at the helm, when he tallied 1,588 yards from scrimmage and 11 total TDs.

Two seasons later, Lane Kiffin gave up on Jordan.

"The Raiders didn't use Jordan well and it showed in his play," Savage said. "He got down on the offensive line and made poor decisions in his cutbacks. He has the talent but needs to be in the right scheme and the zone blocking used by the Raiders this past season seemed to be ill-fitted to his running style."

Jordan still has two years left on his contract with $9.7 million due in base salary. But Justin Fargas is re-signed and Dominic Rhodes is on board for at least another year, which leaves Jordan vocally disconcerted.

When Jordan hits the open market, expect the Chargers to show immediate interest. Look for Jordan to show mutual interest, as San Diego would give him the two things he desperately desires: 1) the chance to win a ring; and 2) the opportunity to play the Raiders twice a year.

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 others for Sixthman Communications.


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