“Justin Bannan is among the free agents the team has expressed interest in adding to its D-line rotation, per a source familiar with the situation.”
Bannan spent four of his 11 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, four with the Buffalo Bills, two with Denver and one with the St. Louis Rams. Bannan started 45 of his team’s 48 regular season games from 2010-2012 and started for Denver in their only playoff game last season.
Denver allowed 3.6 yards per rushing attempt, which ranked second in the NFL last year. Bannan was a part of this, so adding him would give San Diego a veteran presence on their defensive line. San Diego ranked fifth in the NFL as they allowed 3.8 yards per rushing attempt, but lost veterans from last year’s team, which makes them the youngest defensive line in the league.
The Lighting Bolts added about $4.5 million worth of salary cap space this week from releasing former left tackle Jared Gaither, but 2013 first round pick D.J. Fluker has not signed yet.
San Diego will more than likely add a veteran to their defensive line, but at a price that will not hurt their flexibility with cap space. Bannan is 34-years old, so a potential contract offer to him will more than likely allow San Diego’s front office to sign him without spending too much money.
While the NFL has turned into a pass-happy league, stopping teams from running the football cannot be over looked. I would expect Bannan to bring a veteran presence to a team that has one defensive lineman over the age of 25 and help San Diego be one of the best teams at stopping the run, as they were in 2012.