San Diego Chargers linebacker Takeo Spikes will be entering his 16th season in the NFL if he plays in 2013. According to John Gennaro of boltsfromtheblue.com, “With rumors of Takeo Spikes considering retirement, the San Diego Chargers might have to make a move to sign a veteran stopgap at inside linebacker this off-season.”
If the former Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers linebacker comes back, San Diego will owe him $3 million in 2013. San Diego is about $6.5 million under the cap which does not leave much room for improvement through free agency and trades this off-season.
Spikes started in all 32 games that he appeared in for San Diego from 2011-2012. Unfortunately for Spikes, he was not on a team that made it to the playoffs in his 15 seasons despite being a Pro Bowler in 2003 and 2004 and an All-Pro linebacker in 2004.
San Diego finished three games out from making the playoffs in 2012 and missed the playoffs for the third season in a row. Spikes said that he wants to come back and believes that San Diego will be a playoff team in 2013.
I believe that San Diego’s top priority is fixing their terrible offensive line that allowed 49 sacks. The Chargers need to improve a rushing attack that ranked 31st in yards per attempt and get more depth at the receiver position because they ranked 22nd in receiving yards during the 2012 season.
Spikes may not be the only player released because of San Diego’s lack of salary cap space to improve their team. Robert Meachem could be released due to career lows in receiving yards and touchdown receptions in 2012. Left tackle Jared Gaither could also be released due to being injury prone and missing 12 games in 2012.
Meachem and Gaither are owed more money than Spikes, but I would not be surprised to see all three players released by the front office.