5 Value Free Agent Signings the San Diego Chargers Should Make This Offseason
5 Value Free Agents San Diego Chargers Should Sign
Finding value on the free agent market is a difficult task this day and age in the NFL. Most of the time players with the ability to help out multiple teams are given lucrative offers which drives up their price tag and results in an overpayment by the eventual signing party. But the San Diego Chargers exercised patience last offseason in the first year under their new regime to snag valuable players like Danny Woodhead, King Dunlap and Chad Rinehart on the open market. This year could see a repeat of that performance by the front office as the Bolts look to operate on a strict budget and still improve the roster.
In order to continue this salary cap friendly technique, the Chargers will be zeroing in on players who have either been forgotten about or are seen as niche guys at their respective positions. Some players are thought to have only experienced success due to the system around them, and those guys are often much less expensive when it comes to free agency. Others may have been out due to injury or simply had an invisible statistical year that put them under the radar in terms of being coveted on the open market.
Though it may seem dangerous to target these players with apparent flaws, the strategy worked wonders for general manager Tom Telesco and head coach Mike McCoy last year in taking the team back to the postseason for the first time in four years. If the Bolts want to improve on their one playoff win a year ago and make a deeper march into January, these five value signings could come in handy.
5. Stevie Brown - S - New York Giants
San Diego pretty much has zero depth at the safety position behind Eric Weddle, and Stevie Brown missed all of last season rehabbing torn ACL. That may drive his price down despite the fact that he had a terrific 2012 season, and he could pair nicely with Weddle in patrolling the middle of the field for the Chargers on defense. The team will likely still want to draft a safety to develop behind this 26-year-old, but a signing like this would certainly take that down a few notches in terms of priority.
4. Linval Joseph - NT - New York Giants
No, this isn’t a ‘raid the New York Giants’ list. It just so happens that Linval Joseph played out of position in New York, and he would be great a Cam Thomas replacement for a bargain. This would also lessen the importance of landing a new nose tackle in the draft being that Kwame Geathers is still developing and providing depth. Joseph has a top 10 rating among interior defensive linemen set for free agency, but his mild statistical production combined with playing out of position at 6-foot-4, 323-pounds makes him a potential steal this offseason.
3. Shaun Phillips - LB - Denver Broncos
This will probably be my thousandth time saying it, but the only mistake the new front office made last offseason was not bringing back Shaun Phillips. And he showed it last year with the rival Denver Broncos with 10 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception. So what if he will turn 33 in May. With the ancient Dwight Freeney still on the roster, it’s not like the new regime opted for youth instead of experience. Phillips played for a pittance ($1.4 million cap hit) compared to Freeney ($3.5 million cap hit) in 2013, and getting him back in lightning bolts for somewhere in that neighborhood would be a dream come true.
2. Geoff Schwartz - OG - Kansas City Chiefs
Finding a new guard will largely depend on the team’s ability and preference when it come to bringing back Chad Rinehart and Rich Ohrnberger, but if they decide to go in a different direction then Geoff Schwartz would be a fantastic choice. He was the second-highest graded free agent guard according to Pro Football Focus and would be a double-whammy of positivity coming over from the Kansas City Chiefs. It may take opening up the checkbook a bit to get the soon-to-be 28-year-old, but the investment would be well worth it for the sake of Philip Rivers under center.
1. Ted Ginn Jr. - WR - Carolina Panthers
A few explosive plays here and there are all Ted Ginn Jr.’s career has ever been known for. His career-high in catches came all the way back in his second season when he was with the Miami Dolphins, but his second-best yardage total occurred last year with the Carolina Panthers. What Ginn would provide most is a deep threat to stretch the field and open up the underneath routes for the terrific route-runner Keenan Allen to work. He may be another small target to add to a collection of diminutive pass catchers, but Ginn would bring a dimension the Bolts don’t currently possess. Adding him into the mix would give the running game a boost by pulling the safeties back, and it would clearly make the other receivers more effective with more space to navigate in. At just a $1.1 million cap hit in 2013, Ginn would be a slam dunk addition for the Bolts next year.