The San Diego Chargers had many needs going into the off-season. They needed to add another pass rusher, fix their offensive line problems, improve at the strong safety position, find a better backup for Philip Rivers, find one for Ryan Mathews and decide what the team wanted to do about unrestricted free agent Vincent Jackson. San Diego chose defensive end Melvin Ingram in round one of the 2012 NFL Draft, they re-signed center Nick Hardwick and left tackle Jared Gaither, they selected strong safety Brandon Taylor in round three of the draft, but decided to sign Charlie Whitehurst as Rivers’ backup and selected Edwin Baker in round seven of the draft to go along with Curtis Brinkley as Mathews’ backups. San Diego did not re-sign Jackson, and brought in wide receiver Robert Meachem, who will probably not match Jackson’s production, but was still a good move.
Thomas Jones was going to be the backup running back on the Kansas City Chiefs in 2011, but All-Pro RB Jamaal Charles tore his ACL in the second game of the 2011 season. Kansas City had a two headed monster in 2010 as Charles had 230 attempts for 1,467 yards and Jones had 245 attempts for 896 yards and they combined for 11 rushing touchdowns. Jones led Kansas City in rushing attempts in 2010 and 2011, but with the season Charles had in 2010, one would have to think he was expected to carry the load in 2011.
Jones had 153 attempts for 478 yards in 2011 and will be 34 years old at the start of the 2012 season. San Diego should think about going after Jones and trying to sign him to a one year deal. Jones has experience as a starter in the NFL should anything happen to Mathews. The Chargers could go after a younger RB to be Mathews’ backup for 2013 in free agency or go after one earlier in the draft next year.