The San Diego Chargers had multiple positions that needed to be addressed in free agency. Free agent center Nick Hardwick was contemplating retirement, left tackle Jared Gaither was a free agent, wide receiver Vincent Jackson was a free agent, Mike Tolbert was a free agent, they have issues at strong safety and the team needs another pass rusher. San Diego was able to re-sign Hardwick and Gaither which was huge because this fills two needs that would have been difficult to address in the draft since there are other issues with the team. Jackson signed a five year deal worth $55.5 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while Tolbert left for four years and $10 million with the Carolina Panthers.
Philip Rivers may be fine without Jackson because Jackson played in five games during the 2010 season when Rivers threw for 4,710 yards, 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Also, Jackson was not great the last five games in 2011 as he averaged three receptions and 56 receiving yards per game with two total TDs when Rivers threw for 11 TDs and three INTs.
Ryan Mathews is scheduled to make about $4.5 million per season from 2012-2014. Mathews finished the 2011 NFL season 10th in rushing yards while being 16th in attempts. 2011 was Mathews’ first season as the leader on San Diego’s team in rushing attempts and rushing yards. If Mathews continues to produce like this, he might want to restructure his deal with a salary increase, or he could want a contract extension. The San Diego Chargers left room for flexibility with their moves in free agency.