The San Diego Chargers had a terrible offensive line who ranked fourth in sacks allowed during the 2012 season, and the team’s front office is focused on fixing the problem during the off-season.
Most experts expect San Diego’s front office to choose an offensive lineman with the 11th pick in round one of the 2013 NFL Draft. According to Michael Gehlken of utsandiego.com, Eric Winston met with the team, and could be an option replace Jeromey Clary.
Gehlken points out that if San Diego’s front office releases Clary, it will add $2.3 million in salary cap space. As of now, San Diego is about $11.7 million under the salary cap.
Winston spent six seasons with the Houston Texans and started all of their games at right tackle from 2007-2011 before signing with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he started all 16 of their regular season games in 2012.
Chargers left tackle Jared Gaither is injury-prone, and right guard Louis Vasquez is drawing interest from the Indianapolis Colts. San Diego center Nick Hardwick is the only offensive lineman who appears to be guaranteed a starting position when the 2013 season begins.
San Diego general manager Tom Telesco said that the team will not offer a major contract to anyone, probably due to salary cap restrictions, which could mean that the Lighting Bolts will rebuild in the draft.
The Chargers would have additional salary cap space if Philip Rivers and Eric Weddle take pay cuts. Rivers is owed $17.1 million in 2013, while Weddle is owed $8.6 million. A reduction in their salaries would add more salary cap space for San Diego, which could lead to a major free agent signing in the off-season.