Losing Antoine Cason could be a huge blow to the San Diego Chargers
Antoine Cason played his college career with the Arizona Wildcats, and he was San Diego’s first round pick in 2008. Cason is the only first round pick from 2005-2010 who did not suffer a major injury, or was released or traded.
Cason will be an unrestricted free agent this off-season unless San Diego re-signs him or uses the franchise tag on him. Cason started in 45 of San Diego’s 48 regular season games from 2010-2012, and led San Diego in pass deflections from 2010-2012 .
San Diego is about $6.5 million under the salary cap as of today, but a few moves could free up cap space like releasing Jared Gaither, Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal.
Chargers front office claimed former New Orleans Saints cornerback Johnny Patrick off waivers today. However, Patrick has one career start in two seasons, and is coming from a New Orleans team that allowed 8.1 yards per pass attempt in 2012, which ranked last in the NFL.
The Lightning Bolts currently have three cornerbacks with Patrick, Shareece Wright and Marcus Gilchrist. Wright has no career starts and did not play in 15 of San Diego’s 32 games from 2011-2012. Gilchrist has seven starts and appeared in 30 games from 2011-2012 for the Chargers.
If San Diego does not re-sign Cason, they would be left with a cornerback group that could be one of the worst in the league. New York Jets All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis is rumored to be on the trading block, so San Diego’s front office could go after him I expect San Diego’s front office to make an attempt to re-sign Cason, which has to be done for the team to keep improving on a pass defense that was better in 2012.