Chargers add veteran depth as training camp approaches

By Gil Alcaraz IV

With training camp just around the corner, the San Diego Chargers made some significant roster moves on Friday with the intent of bolstering the competition when the team reconvenes.

In an attempt to add some depth along the defensive line, the Chargers signed veteran defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin. The move comes only a day after San Diego released defensive tackle Luis Castillo, who they had re-signed only three months prior.

Franklin, 31, spent the 2011 season struggling in the New Orleans Saints’ 4-3 defense. Now with the Chargers, though, he should be able to take advantage of his size and strength as a nose tackle in San Diego’s 3-4 attack. He will provide depth behind Antonio Garay and Cam Thomas, but has the potential to push for significant playing time if he performs well during the preseason.

Even with the Chargers expecting a breakout season from running back Ryan Matthews, they added another experienced body to the mix on Friday when they agreed to a deal with veteran Jackie Battle.

A former Kansas City Chiefs running back, Battle, 28, will provide depth behind Matthews and backup Ronnie Brown. He’s considered a triple-threat with his abilities as a special teamer and receiver out of the backfield, meaning that his presence could spell the end of Curtis Brinkley’s time with the Chargers.

In order to make room on the training camp roster for Battle and Franklin, the Chargers also waived undrafted rookie fullback Mohamed Marah. A longshot to make the roster, Marah made the switch from linebacker to fullback when he came to San Diego in hopes of increasing his value but had no chance of unseating Le’Ron McClain for the starting spot.

Veteran guard Kris Dielman was also released from the reserve/retired list, making his exit from the NFL official.

It’s almost time for real football to begin, and the Chargers are doing everything they can to prepare themselves for a deep playoff run. Hopefully.

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