San Diego Chargers Free Agency Breakdown, Part III: Midway

Hey there everybody and welcome back. After a crazy Day One for the San Diego Chargers, free agency news out of Chargers park has come to a near halt. That having been said, with a couple extra days to add to this update, we've got some exciting things to discuss. So, without further delay, let's do this thing.

Chargers Make Cuts

The Chargers made their first round of cuts recently. Here's a player-by-player snapshot of the moves.

Buster Davis - It was only a matter of time before Davis got the ax. The former first

[caption id="attachment_162" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Buster Davis had potential, but injuries all but assured the fact that he wouldn't make the cut at the end of his rookie contract"][/caption]

round pick flashed potential when he was on the field, but serious injury issues kept him from ever seeing quality field time. It's a shame, but football is a business, so Davis had to go.

Brandon Lang - Lang was activated last year to essentially fill a hole on special teams. As far as I was concerned, he was never going to stick on the active roster. He may return to the practice squad though.

Donald Strickland - This move cut deep for me. I was a big fan of Strickland as a sub-package and nickel back player last year, as he did a great job against slot guys out on the field in 2010. The Chargers should have the personnel to cover the loss, but I'm still not so sure about this decision.

Jyles Tucker - This was another surprise for me. Considering the injury problems that Larry English seems to have, depth at OLB is important for San Diego, and while Tucker did spend some time injured last season, he still provides quality pass rush depth.

Kris Wilson - With Gates and McMichael fixed on the roster, San Diego was bound to go in a different direction. Wilson is a good player, but, at heart, he is a blocking tight end, and that doesn't seem to be the kind of player that Norv Turner wants to work with (see Brandon Manumaleuna trade).

Three Bolts Injured

Word came out two days ago that Antonio Gates, Kion Wilson and Larry English have all been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list. This could be a problem. Let's go player-by-player once again:

Kion Wilson - It won't be too difficult to replace Wilson, as he was really only a special-teamer last year, but it's still unfortunate to see a young guy take a hit like this.

[caption id="attachment_163" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="See this guy? This guy is important. And hurt. Yikes."][/caption]

Larry English - Losing Larry English, contrary to what some might think, won't make much of a difference on the field. Since being drafted in the first round in 2009, English has only started four games, posting a disappointing five sacks and one forced fumble. Trust me, his presence won't be missed on the field. The big thing here is that this could be just another nail in his coffin. If he can't get healthy by the beginning of the regular season, he'll have to miss the first six regular season games (rules of the PUP list). That'd about do it.

Antonio Gates - As capable as Randy McMichael is as a backup, Gates is an immediate impact player. Anyone who is a fan of the NFL knows that Gates is one of the best to ever play the game, and with a shallow receiver group coming into this season, he is going to be more important than ever. He needs to get healthy by the beginning of the regular season, because San Diego cannot afford to sit him for six weeks.

The Lightning Bug Bolts

It's not like everyone did not see this one coming, but there was a glimmer of hope when it was announced that the Chargers were in fact making a run at keeping Darren Sproles in the powder blues.

Sadly, though, Sproles signed a 4-year, $14 million contract with the New Orleans Saints. The good news for all of us is that we will get the chance to see Sproles succeed, since he will be sharing time (at the very least) with Mark Ingram after the departure of Reggie Bush to Miami.

Kevin Burnett Walks

Sadly, another key Charger walked in free agency. Kevin Burnett, who combined with Stephen Cooper to create a solid ILB tandem last year was lured away to Miami. An official announcement has yet to be made, but sources say that he has agreed to terms.

Vincent Brown and Shareece Wright Sign

Both picks signed four-year deals, leaving only first round pick Corey Liuget without a deal.

Vincent Jackson's Future Changes

Despite the long-accepted concept that Vincent Jackson may be on his way out when his

[caption id="attachment_164" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Is Vincent Jackson really headed towards a long term deal with the San Diego Chargers?"][/caption]

franchise tag tender runs up, there is some speculation coming out of the National Football Post that AJ Smith may have long term plans for the troublesome-but-talented wide receiver. This is definitely a storyline to keep your eyes on.

Travis LaBoy Joins Up

LaBoy will provide quality depth at the OLB spot and should help ease the transition into Greg Manusky's new system along with fellow former-49er Takeo Spikes.

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