Speed is the word this offseason. The Chargers will look to add speed to their defense in the form of secondary help and perhaps along the defensive line. Also look for them to target depth along the offensive line and maybe surprise some with a wide receiver.
One thing that could be interesting is the wide receiver situation. Early in the offseason this plan will be addressed. It could come in the form of retaining Curtis Conway or they may go another direction. Interesting names dot the market, including David Boston who could get franchised, Peerless Price, Brian Finneran and Derrius Thompson to name a few. The latter two could come cheaper and provide a tall presence to go with the smaller Chargers receivers. Both Finneran and Thompson had just over 50 catches in offenses that did not feature them. Both are young and have tremendous upside. The good news is nobody is talking about them, the hope remains that they are not signed to Tim Dwight like contracts that will prohibit the Chargers from making other moves.
The Chargers are not yet in an enviable position. They have cap room to clear, first and foremost, as well as signing their own crop of free agents. A month remains before free agency officially begins but the plans are being laid now, and in the coming weeks. The Chargers will want to strike early in this buyers market as plenty of other teams have cash to spend in the carousel that is the NFL.
Two names that have surfaced when the Chargers are discussed are safeties Tebucky Jones and Dexter Jackson. The Chargers are looking to upgrade the position and do so with cover safeties as their pass defense and tackling failed last season. Jackson has seen his price go up after winning the Super Bowl MVP, and both would fit nicely in the cover-2 scheme, Jackson especially after seeing it in action in Tampa Bay. There has been talk of moving Rogers Beckett to safety, but that does not solve the tackling issues that plagued him or the team last season.
Cornerback is another position that interests the Chargers although their luck in free agency regarding the position has not been great. The position is not deep in quality players and indications coming from the Baltimore area are that Chris McAlister, the Ravens shutdown cornerback, wants to remain with the team besides the fact he will highly sought after if he does enter the market. The Chargers may look this way again in round one of the NFL Draft with possibilities including Marcus Trufant of Washington State or Andre Wolfolk of Oklahoma. John Butler has always said you can never have enough quality cornerbacks and with the Chargers giving up so many yards through the air, it is likely that this need will be addressed.
Daryl Gardener could garner some interest from the Chargers who are looking to upgrade their defensive line to get more pressure on the quarterback. Gardener can provide just that as he had 4 sacks on the season and 9 stuffs. With Jason Fisk recently signed, odds are they will attack this need in the Draft.
With the Super Bowl just concluded roster movement will begin and we will get a better feel for what will happen and those player agents that like to talk will once again rise to the occasion and feed our need to know everything during the off-season.
There is a plan in place, and over the next month it will become clear and targets will be zeroed in on and hopefully signed to manageable contracts.
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