NFL San Diego Chargers

5 Remaining Free Agents Who Could Help San Diego Chargers

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5 Remaining Free Agents Who Could Help San Diego Chargers

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers spent much of the early offseason retooling their entire roster. Though they weren't aggressive in free agency, they made many under-the-radar signings, which should help the team both in the short and long term.

Since then, however, it’s been quiet on the free agent front for the Chargers, who haven’t made any changes to their roster since May. But with training camp just underway, that could definitely change soon. The team decided not to prematurely cut anyone because they wanted to give everyone a fair shot to showcase what they can do in pads. Now that the opportunity is finally here, the team can justify making cuts and signings to improve their roster in certain areas that still need help.

Head coach Mike McCoy said that the team isn't done tweaking their roster. The coaches and front office will be watching closely to see who deserves a spot on the team and who doesn't have what it takes. Also, the Bolts will be evaluating the free agent market to see if there are any players out there they feel are a better fit for the team now than what’s currently on the roster.

The Chargers right now have a lot of young, unproven players in training camp, including 20 undrafted rookies. Though developing young talent will be great for the team’s future, the Bolts may need to add a few veterans who can contribute immediately and provide the adequate depth, leadership and experience the team needs.

Veteran free agents still available now have been waiting quite some time for their phones to ring. While many are just waiting for the right price or opportunity to present itself, time is running out and these players will need to swallow their prime and take anything they can get at this point. This means cheap contracts for players who probably deserve more, which can only help salary cap-stricken teams like the Chargers.

Here’s a look at five free agents who could help San Diego in 2013.

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Beanie Wells

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With Danny Woodhead more of a complementary back than someone who could carry the load if (or when) Ryan Mathews goes down with an injury, the Bolts could use an experienced workhorse back like Beanie Wells. At just 24-years-old, Wells is one year removed from a 1,000 yard rushing season with the Arizona Cardinals under then-head coach and current Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. Though his other seasons scream mediocrity, he never had much help behind a pedestrian offensive line or a passing game that could take pressure off of him. He too has some injury concerns, but if Wells and Mathews split carries, their bodies won’t wear down as fast.

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Winston Justice

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D.J. Fluker hasn’t been too impressive so far since the Chargers made him the 11th overall pick back in April. Though he’ll likely stay where he is at starting right tackle, there is still the option of kicking him inside to right guard, where he could possibly dominate. If he were to make the move, the Chargers could start King Dunlap at right tackle, but could use some more depth at the position. Winston Justice, 28, met with the Bolts earlier this offseason, before the team opted to instead sign Max Starks. Justice, who has more starting experience than Dunlap, could push him if he struggles.

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Justin Bannan

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The Chargers remain interested in adding ex-Denver Bronco defensive lineman Justin Bannan. An 11-year veteran, Bannan is great at stopping the run and would be an excellent rotational player along the defensive line for the Bolts. For a defense that likes to rotate their defensive linemen to keep them fresh, the Chargers have little at defensive end behind starters Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes. The Bolts could also use Bannan’s veteran leadership as their most experienced defensive lineman (Cam Thomas) is only 26-years-old.

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Larry Grant

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Larry Grant’s four-game suspension to start the 2013 season could be the reason he’s still on the market, but there’s no question that he’s got some talent. In 2011, the former San Francisco 49er started three games in the place of injured Patrick Willis and was solid. The Bolts could definitely use some depth at inside linebacker in the wake of Jonas Mouton’s season-ending knee injury. Grant, 28, could be good complementary linebacker and special teams player for the Bolts.

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Kerry Rhodes

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It’s strange to think that one of the top safeties in the league, Kerry Rhodes, is still available on the market. A ball-hawking safety, Rhodes intercepted four passes last season and broke up another 11 passes. The Bolts have been trying to find a strong safety to complement Eric Weddle for years and seem content to try out converted cornerback Marcus Gilchrist. Adding Rhodes, who turns 31 next month, would allow Gilchrist to play at both positions, significantly strengthening the depth of both corner and safety. With other strong safety Brandon Taylor still not ready to return from injury, Rhodes could slide into the starting lineup and give Taylor another year to get healthy and learn the position.

Kevin Chan is a San Diego Chargers writer for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.