Offseason Preview: San Diego Chargers

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Free Agents To Be:

Jahleel Addae (S), Joe Barksdale (OT), Kellen Clemens (QB), Antonio Gates (TE), Ladarius Green (TE), Chris Hairston (OT), David Johnson (FB), Ricardo Matthews (DT), John Phillip (TE), Kendall Reyes (DT), Patrick Robinson (CB), Eric Weddle (S)

The Chargers will need to manage their money right to keep from making the mistakes of the last regime. To do that they should find deals for Jahleel Addae, Antonio Gates, Joe Barksdale, Ladarius Green, and Patrick Robinson. Gates is a legend and still has something left in the tank. He said he wants to play next year and the Chargers need him back with his connection with Phillip Rivers. Green has a ton of potential but has been under used. With this possibly being Gates' last year, it would be a good idea to lock up his replacement long term now. Barksdale was the lone performer on a terrible offensive line and should be rewarded for that effort. He will be a great piece to bring back. Robinson and Addae are solid players in the secondary. Addae has been a great safety when healthy with his punishing hits and speed while Robinson has quietly been solid as Brandon Flowers had a down year.

Free Agents To Pursue:

Malik Jackson (DL), Stefen Wisniewski (C), Jaye Howard (NT),  Bruce Irvin (OLB), Janoris Jenkins (CB)

The Chargers need more playmakers on the defensive side of the ball than they can grab in the draft. Luckily there is plenty of players available in free agency to help the defense to get better. First they should focus their efforts on the Defensive Tackle MaliK Jackson who would be an immediate playmaker opposite of Corey Liuget in the front seven. This will give the Bolts a pass rushing boost while also helping to strengthen the run defense. It will also deliver a blow to that world class defense in Denver that they have to face twice a year. Then they should target a mauling center to bring toughness back into the offensive line Wisniewski was an up and coming center before last year. He has the potential to return to that form. Either way he has continued to be a great run blocker and will help the development of Melvin Gordon. Then they should look to add a nose tackle to plug the middle and should be able to get Howard for relatively cheap. If not they can get a short term plug in with Haloti Ngata for a good price. Then they should look to add a pass rusher to the mix alongside the injury prone Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attauchu. Irvin can provide this as he is a better fit as a pass rusher than the 4-3 linebacker the Seahawks tried to make him into. Lastly, they should look to  grab a difference maker opposite of Jason Verrett if they do not think that Brandon Flowers can return to form. Jenkins is strong and can play with any receiver. 

Draft Outlook:

In this scenario the Chargers have upgraded the Defensive Line and can grab a playmaker either on the deffensive side or the offensive side. I see them Taking Laquon Treadwell at number 3 if they grab Jackson or another playmaker on the defensive line in free agency. The corner position is deeper in the draft. Treadwell will offer a receiver like Vincent Jackson opposite of Keenan Allen and will give Rivers the weapons he needs to succeed.