There is something to be said for consistency and reliability. The San Diego Chargers have experienced that steady presence for a decade with cornerback Quentin Jammer. This offseason will be the first time in his lengthy career that the former Texas Longhorn will be testing the free agent market. San Diego needs to do everything that they can to make sure Jammer is back with the Bolts for the 2013 season.
Even though he isn’t as fast as he once was, Jammer is still a savvy corner with some real positive attributes. Obviously his veteran leadership is irreplaceable and for the sake of continuity during the current overhaul, the new regime should make sure Jammer is a part of the new era in Chargers football. His tackling prowess has always been a huge positive considering how so many of the corners today merely arm tackle and hope for help to get guys on the ground.
As for the price tag, Jammer should come at a bit of a discount considering that not many teams are looking to add an aging corner to their roster. His contract that just expired only carried a $4 million cap hit and something in that ballpark would definitely work for the team moving forward. Add in the fact that other free agent cornerback Antoine Cason will likely fetch offers north of $6 million a year due to his age (26) and the team needs to realize that completely restarting at the corner position is a risky proposition.
If the Bolts can keep Jammer around for two more years and insert Marcus Gilchrist in Cason’s vacated spot on the other side, the transition to a younger defensive backfield will be much smoother. There’s also no reason to think that Jammer couldn’t make the switch to safety now that he is up in age much like veteran Charles Woodson did with the Green Bay Packers quite successfully. That way his leadership would remain and his tackling skills could flourish, yet the Bolts could still begin the transition at cornerback.
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Jammer in San Diego, but he has been a Bolt for life. He has been extremely durable, only missing a handful of games in his career, and keeping that type of dedicated presence around will serve as the model for what the team wants its young players to one day become.