Free Agency Must Be Productive for San Diego Chargers Rebuilding Effort
General Manager Tom Telesco (or TT as he will be referred to from here on out) has the unenviable task of trying to retool the San Diego Chargers roster this offseason. The roster the he has inherited from former GM A.J. Smith has plenty of unrealized potential on it, but through free agency and injuries, the club’s foundation has slowly eroded over the past handful of seasons. Now it is up to TT to restore the luster on this San Diego team as one of the premier teams in the NFL and that will start on the free agent market.
4 p.m. on March 12th will be a big moment for all teams across the league, but the Bolts in particular need to do some bargain hunting. It’s not like the team will be strapped for cap room in free agency with $8.7 million in projected space without any roster cuts, but they still would like to maintain a healthy bottom line. Thankfully there are plenty of possibilities set to become free agents this offseason that could fit in very well in San Diego.
Clearly, this shopping trip begins in the offensive line aisle and there the Bolts should pick up some Andy Levitre, Buffalo Bills guard, and Gosder Cherilus, Detroit Lions tackle. Levitre may be a bit on the pricey side given his status as the top free agent guard, but teams are generally hesitant to invest too heavily in that position. The instant connection with his former offensive line coach in Buffalo Joe D’Alessandris should have some pull for Levitre and get him to make the move westward.
As for Cherilus, he is a former first round pick for the Lions, but he has fallen out of favor a bit in their rotation. The team figures to go with their two higher priced tackles in 2013 leaving Cherilus to test free agency. He would be an immediate upgrade over Jeromey Clary at right tackle, and would allow the Bolts to release the underachiever as they should have done years ago.
The other necessary stop on this shopping trip is simply replenishing the stock of what the team already had. At wide receiver, the Bolts have failures Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal on their dead weight list ready to cut, but Danario Alexander must be re-signed before making those moves. Bringing him back along with a healthy Vincent Brown in 2013 instantly makes the Chargers dangerous again on the outside.
TT may have his work cut out for him this offseason, but with just a few tweaks via free agency and relying on the draft for the remainder of the retooling, the Bolts will be back into the AFC West race in no time.