Updating San Diego's Free Agency Forecast

The first weekend of free agency is over and done with and already the 2010 Chargers look significantly different from last year's team. We break down all of San Diego's early losses and dissect A.J. Smith's options for replacing these players.


DL Jamal Williams
Rick Stewart/Getty
Player Lost: Jamal Williams

In-House Replacement: Ryon Bingham

Free Agent Possibilities: Jimmy Kennedy (Vikings)

Draft Prospects: Cam Thomas (North Carolina), Torell Troup (Central Florida)

Game Plan: The Chargers would like to bring back Williams at a reduced price. If not, the team will likely seek his replacement in the NFL Draft. Thomas and Troup are both strong candidates; also, keep an eye on Virginia Tech sleeper Cordarrow Thompson. If San Diego drafts a nose tackle, the rookie will play in a rotation with Bingham and Nwagbuo.





RB Michael Bennett
Stephen Dunn/Getty
Player Lost: LaDainian Tomlinson, Michael Bennett

In-House Replacement: Darren Sproles

Free Agent Possibilities: Willie Parker (Steelers), Ladell Betts (Redskins)

Draft Prospects: Ryan Matthews (Frenso State), Jonathan Dwyer (Georgia Tech)

Game Plan: The Chargers ponied up to keep Sproles off the market. However, the team needs to add at least two halfbacks, likely a veteran and a rookie. Smith will explore the trade market before settling on a veteran fill-in. He could add the rookie as early as the first round and no later than the second.





RB Michael Bennett
Nick Laham/Getty
Player Lost: Brandon Manumaleuna (Bears)

In-House Replacement: Kris Wilson

Free Agent Possibilities: Reggie Kelly (Bengals), Sean Ryan (Chiefs)

Draft Prospects: Michael Hoomanawanui (Illinois) and Riar Geer (Colorado)

Game Plan: Wilson takes over for Manumaleuna as the No. 2 tight end, but the Chargers need one more player to round out the depth chart. Reggie Kelly is a pure blocking specialist similar to Manumaleuna, but the most likely scenario involves drafting a tight end in the middle or late rounds.





WR Kassim Osgood
Jeff Gross/Getty
Player Lost: Kassim Osgood (Jaguars)

In-House Replacement: Buster Davis, Gary Banks

Free Agent Possibilities: Sean Morey (Cardinals)

Game Plan: The Chargers let Osgood walk after he had been vocal with his criticisms of Norv Turner and his desires to play more on offense. However, there is no need to seek an outside replacement. Buster Davis is a former first-round pick who could finally crack the game-day roster with Osgood out of the mix. If Davis doesn't step up, Gary Banks appears ready after two years on the practice squad. Also, 2009 seventh-round pick Demetrius Byrd could be in the mix.




Discuss these and other offseason issues inside our Insiders Free Agency Forum.




Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.


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