The San Diego Chargers have welcomed in a new General Manager and Head Coach this offseason, but there are many new faces yet to join the blue, white and yellow before next season.
The Chargers have many holes that need filling before they can think of hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy; i.e. their offensive line, secondary, running back and wide receivers.
San Diego has 19 players set to become unrestricted free agents and five restricted free agents; of those 24 players, seven are crucial for G.M. Tom Telesco to keep for the 2013-14 season. Some of those players include Defensive Backs Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer, Outside Linebacker Shaun Phillips, Running Back Ronnie Brown, and Wide Receiver Danario Alexander.
Although those seven players are paramount to the Chargers' success next season, that doesn't mean that more players could and will resign.
Looking at the available free agents that weren't Chargers last season and April's NFL Amateur Draft, San Diego needs to use this coming offseason to address their offensive line, wide receiver and defensive backfield.
Starting off with the offensive line, besides center Nick Hardwick, the Chargers offensive line has the potential to be completely different next season. San Diego needs to cut ties with troubled $9 million left tackle Jarred Gathier who only managed four games before an alleged injury. Tackles Sebastian Vollmer and Andre Smith, and Guards Brandon Moore and Andy Levitre would be more than qualified (or capable) to fill the gaping holes in front of Phillip Rivers.
Entering the draft, the Bolts have been projected to take a variety of offensive linemen; including Central Michigan’s Tackle Eric Fisher, North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper and Oklahoma’s Tackle Lane Johnson.
The most expensive Charger is Phillip Rivers and after you protect him, it's time to give him some weapons to utilize. San Diego found a viable threat midseason in Danrio Alexander—and it is vital he's kept—but Rivers desperately needs to be surrounded by receivers.
Thanks to his wife, free agent and ex-Charger Wes Welker has played his way out of New England and could be a viable candidate for the Chargers. Danny Amendola and Brian Hartline are two more free agents that are speedy slot receivers that would complement Alexander and Malcolm Floyd's deep threat potential.
After the offense is taken care of, San Diego needs to focus on its secondary; and other than Free Safety Eric Weddle, there's nothing consistent about it. With Jammer and Cason being free agents, the need to revamp its secondary is quintessential. For the past three seasons, Jammer has been rumored to be moved to Strong Safety, and I couldn't agree more. Cason is a good corner, but he isn’t the great corner the Chargers desperately need.
Some corners that will be available this offseason include Aqib Talib, Cary Williams, Brent Grimes, and Dominique Rodger-Cromartie. Any one of these corners could be a perfect fit that San Diego has been searching for.
The Chargers have plenty more to address this offseason, but they truly need to concentrate on these areas in order to avoid yet another losing season.
This is a shortened list of the needs the Chargers have to address this offseason, but ones that are the most crucial to not having another loosing season. In order for the Bolts to return to their elite level, it's time they start spending money at an elite level. Albeit the Chargers don’t have enough money to sign every single one of those players, but with the help of dropping some unneeded contracts, they should be able to sign at least two non-Charger free agents.
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