NFL San Diego Chargers

5 Biggest Free Agency Rumors Surrounding the San Diego Chargers

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5 Biggest Free Agency Rumors Surrounding the San Diego Chargers

NFL Free Agency San Diego Chargers
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

There’s plenty to be excited about for fans of the San Diego Chargers heading into the first offseason following a postseason appearance in the last four years. The Bolts resurfaced as AFC West contenders in the first year of the next regime of head coach Mike McCoy and general manager Tom Telesco. These two deserve plenty of credit for the franchise’s resurrection in 2013, but a playoff berth is not where the duo wants the progress to cease.

San Diego has been shuffling pieces to free up a bit more salary cap space in recent days by parting ways with cornerbacks Johnny Patrick and Derek Cox along with fullback Le’Ron McClain. The team also restructured the deal of wideout Eddie Royal to make it a bit more cap-friendly, and now the attention turns to the NFL free agent market.

Though the Bolts are still expected to be primarily window shoppers and bargain hunters when it comes to free agents, it’s still possible that the team will find a value or two to add depth to the secondary and offensive line in desperate need of help. Injuries and malinvestment have really hurt the team in both areas in recent years, and this may be the offseason where they can turn the page on those failures.

Free agency is about more than just the marquee names searching for big money on the open market. Finding the right fits for the team, no matter how insignificant they may seem, could ultimately tilt the balance from mediocrity to championship worthy.

These five free agent storylines will definitely be worth following as the Chargers’ front office attempts to build the franchise into a perennial contender.

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. Is the Team Really Done Making Cuts Yet?

NFL Free Agency San Diego Chargers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Le’Ron McClain dismissal was very much expected and the Derek Cox cut was certainly warranted, but the Bolts shouldn’t stop there. Jeromey Clary is scheduled to make $4.55 million in 2014 and none of it is guaranteed. He has been a false start waiting to happen his entire career, and the team could easily replace him with a lower tier free agent capable of playing just as well for a fraction of the cost. There’s still time to cut some dead weight, and Clary should be sent away quietly before the free agent process gets started.

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4. Malcom Floyd’s Uncertain Health Makes Re-Signing Danario Alexander a Must

NFL Free Agency San Diego Chargers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Though Danario Alexander’s health is just about as tenuous as Malcom Floyd’s given his balky knees, the Bolts have to bring him back again on a low-risk deal to augment the receiving corps. Keenan Allen was awesome as a rookie and Eddie Royal is returning after restructuring his deal, but Vincent Brown hasn’t lived up to expectations which makes DX a vital re-signing. Any deal will likely be awfully cheap considering his brittle nature, but the potential for a huge return on investment is enough incentive to buy this scratch-off ticket.

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3. Could Familiar Face Be Returning at CB?

NFL Free Agency San Diego Chargers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After admitting failure with the Derek Cox signing last offseason, the new front office shouldn’t waste any time to find redemption at the cornerback spot. Former Bolt Antoine Cason is once again a free agent after signing on for only one year with the Arizona Cardinals last season. He may not be elite, but the meager $1.5 million total cap hit he carried a year ago is totally affordable for a serious upgrade in coverage. He will be just 28 when next season arrives and could be useful in a return to San Diego in 2014.

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2. Could Familiar Face Be Returning at OLB?

NFL Free Agency San Diego Chargers
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

It isn’t good to live in the past, but why the Chargers ever let Shaun Phillips leave in the first place is beyond me. Sure he was an A.J. Smith pick and a Norv Turner guy, but so is Philip Rivers and he wasn’t pushed out the door. Phillips only had a $1.4 million cap hit a year ago with the Denver Broncos, and bringing him back to San Diego for somewhere in that neighborhood would be huge. He may be set to turn 33 in May, but the 10 sacks he put up last season nearly doubled the Bolts’ leading sacker in Corey Liuget from 2013 with just 5.5. Finding a way to bring Phillips back would be a huge boost to a defense that desperately needs one in the pass rush department.

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1. Chad Rinehart and Rich Ohrnberger in Contract Discussions

NFL Free Agency San Diego Chargers
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

This really has been the hub of Chargers’ concerns all offseason – aside from re-signing LB Donald Butler – and bringing back both Chad Rinehart and Rich Ohrnberger to an offensive line that was much improved in 2013 is an absolute must. Finding quality depth in the trenches is a difficult task, but finding those talented guys who fit into the team’s scheme is even more challenging. The fact that the Bolts have two guys who fit the fit in-house means they must stay put. Philip Rivers has been under siege enough in recent years to not want to return to those days again. It may cost a good bit more than it did last offseason to bring these guys back, but it’s imperative to the offense that both are wearing lightning bolts when the 2014 season kicks off.

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