Chargers Free Agency Roundup

The San Diego Chargers have yet to dip their toes in the free agent waters, but there has been plenty of activity that will affect the team's fortunes in 2009. Two of San Diego's AFC West rivals have been making big waves, and some players of interest are being taken off the market. See the latest developments in this free agency roundup.

Broncos Buying Bonanza

The Denver Broncos finished with the same record as the Chargers last season, losing the division title on a tiebreaker. Nonetheless, the team's new administration (GM Brian Xanders and Coach Josh McDaniels) clearly felt a multitude of moves were needed to put the Broncos over the top.

In the first two days of free agency, the Broncos have added seven new players and signed an eighth to an offer sheet. On defense, the team has brought aboard S Brian Dawkins, LB Andra Davis, S Renaldo Hill and DT Darrell Reid. On offense, the new faces include RB Correll Buckhalter, RB J.J. Arrington and WR Jabar Gaffney. The team also signed Houston Texans WR David Anderson to a three-year offer sheet.

Many of the moves were made to improve Denver's depth and special teams. The players the Chargers must be wary of are Dawkins, Davis and the RB combo of Buckhalter and Arrington. Dawkins will replace a former Charger, FS Marlon McCree, who joined the Broncos last offseason and was a huge liability in pass defense.

Chiefs Spear Familiar Faces

New Chiefs GM Scott Pioli wasted little time injecting his roster with some familiar faces, trading a second-round pick for former New England Patriots QB Matt Cassel and LB Mike Vrabel. Cassel should get the most out of standout pass-catchers Tony Gonzalez and Dwayne Bowe, while Vrabel will inject life into a pass rush that finished with the fewest sacks in NFL history last season (10).

The Chiefs are looking to climb out of the AFC West cellar after winning only two games last season. However, they don't have as much ground to gain on the Chargers as one might think.

The Chargers won both meetings last season by a single point. In the first game, Kansas City missed a two-point conversion in the final minute that would have won the game; in the second contest, the Chargers scored 13 points in the final 80 seconds to eke out the win.

"The Chiefs only won two games last season," said Coach Todd Haley. "I just want to give them to best chance to win games. We're doing what we can to win one game."

Potential Targets Off the Market

The Chargers are merely window-shopping during the first stage of free agency, waiting to see which free agents fall through the cracks and which players are released during this time of frenzied turnover. The strategy makes sense for a team that plans to spend the vast majority of its money in-house, but some good players are being taken off the market in the interim.

The Miami Dolphins re-signed RT Vernon Carey, who could have been an upgrade over Jeromey Clary. Arizona Cardinals DE Antonio Smith is visiting the Texans and is reportedly receiving interest from the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers; the odds of him coming to San Diego now appear to be slim.

Also, given the money the Chargers gave to Kynan Forney last week -- and to Scott Mruczkowski the offseason prior -- you can cross any guards off the team's wish list.

The Chargers do not have any players scheduled to visit on the first weekend of free agency. However, the team could make a move this week to re-sign cornerback Drayton Florence, according to a report by the San Diego Union Tribune. Florence was released after one season with the Jacksonville Jaguars and could sign a short-term contract with the Chargers to help reestablish his market value.

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