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NFL San Diego Chargers

5 San Diego Chargers Storylines to Follow Leading Up to Free Agency

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5 San Diego Chargers Storylines to Follow Leading Up to Free Agency

Mike McCoy San Diego Chargers
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

A pleasant surprise of a 2013 season saw the San Diego Chargers return to the postseason for the first time in four years in the first campaign under the watch of head coach Mike McCoy. General manger Tom Telesco had a lot to do with that instant turnaround given his stellar draft class and under the radar moves in terms of personnel to get this team back on the right track. Now the key to taking the next step is continuing to draft well, making the right moves on the free agent market and tweaking the roster just enough to propel this team forward to even greater heights.

Obviously that’s easy said than done given the miniscule amount of salary cap space the Bolts are due to have this offseason. Some contracts will likely have to be reworked while other deals may be terminated altogether to help free up the necessary room to make any improvements to the roster.

Injuries throw yet another wrench into the equation as far as the Bolts are concerned with some question marks looking ahead to the 2014 campaign at a wide receiver position as well as at cornerback. It’s hard to know just what the roster has at these positions given the injuries that robbed some expected contributors of the ability to prove themselves a season ago. This will definitely make for an uncertain nature when it comes to the franchise’s direction at these spots.

Some key moves have already been made by the Bolts this offseason, but other vital issues are yet to be decided. Here are the top five storylines around the Chargers organization as the NFL offseason nears the beginning of the free agency free-for-all.

Anthony Blake is a Senior Writer/Copy Editor for Rant Sports. You Can Follow Him on Twitter, on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Does Danario Alexander Get One Last Try?

Danario Alexander San Diego Chargers
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Malcom Floyd’s future is up in the air currently, and the Chargers are severely lacking for an impact wideout aside from Keenan Allen. It may be another low-risk roll of the dice type of deal, but bringing Danario Alexander back one last time to see if he can stay healthy would be a smart move. Philip Rivers has quite a rapport with him, and DX brings the size element at 6-foot-5, 217-pounds that the Bolts will no doubt dearly miss if Floyd is forced to retire.

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4. Cam Thomas May Be Allowed to Walk

San Diego Chargers Cam Thomas
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Often times there was a gaping hole up the middle of the defense for opposing running backs to waltz right through last season, and nose tackle Cam Thomas was responsible for these gaffes. Though a true 3-4 nose tackle is a rare commodity in today’s NFL, an ineffective NT is just about as useful as not having one at all. Sean Lissemore proved capable of handling the duties in stretches, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team address the issue with a player like Louis Nix III in the 2014 NFL Draft if he’s available. What would be a surprise, however, is seeing Thomas back in lightning bolts in 2014.

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3. Will Another Free Agent CB Be Signed This Offseason?

Derek Cox San Diego Chargers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Cox turned out to be an absolute flop last year after being signed from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Though players like Aqib Talib, Brent Grimes and Vontae Davis will be available, they will all likely land well outside of the Bolts’ price range. Guys like Walter Thurmond or Captain Munnerlyn might be effective signings, but the draft seems more likely to be where the Chargers turn for additional help in the secondary.

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2. Chad Rinehart, Rich Ohrnberger Must Be Priorities

Chad Rinehart Rich Ohrnberger San Diego Chargers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been quite a while since the Chargers had quality offensive linemen to boast about, but pending free agents Chad Rinehart and Rich Ohrnberger certainly qualify. Both arrived via one-year deals last offseason and will surely be looking to cash in after impressive 2013 campaigns. The Bolts would be wise to keep at least one if not both of these valuable blockers to maintain a sense of continuity up front. Cutting the perennially lackluster Jeromey Clary would be a great way to free up some additional cap space to make it happen.

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1. Donald Butler Re-Signing Best Decision of Entire Offseason

Donald Butler San Diego Chargers
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of what else happens this offseason, the Chargers giving linebacker Donald Butler a multiyear extension was the best move the team could possibly make. Even though the terms of the contract have yet to be disclosed, Butler is still just 25 years of age and has plenty of upside left. Durability issues have raised concerns about his long-term viability alongside Manti Te’o inside, but he has vowed to improve that and make this duo one of the league’s best for years to come.

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