5 Free Agent Ex-San Diego Chargers Who Could Make a Valiant Return This Offseason

5 Ex-San Diego Chargers Who Could Return This Offseason

San Diego Chargers
Getty Images

The San Diego Chargers saw several quality players make a mass exodus during the previous era of penny-pinching under former GM A.J. Smith. Now there’s a new regime in town with a different outlook on how to build a quality roster. Don’t be surprised if some former Bolts once cast aside by the organization make a pilgrimage back to San Diego this offseason for a reunion tour in 2014. These five guys in particular could wear lightning bolts again.

5. Antonio Cromartie, CB

cromartie
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

5. Antonio Cromartie, CB

antonio cromartie
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Cromartie ranks lowest on this list because his return remains very unlikely even with the team’s desperate need for cornerback help. Cromartie's high cap number wouldn’t be accommodated in San Diego, but he’s worth including on this list due to the team’s need in the secondary and his recent release from the New York Jets. He played with the Bolts from 2006 to 2009 and really made a name for himself with an imposing size/speed combo.

4. Vaughn Martin, DE

Vaughn Martin Chargers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

4. Vaughn Martin, DE

Vaughn Martin Chargers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

He never put up amazing stats, but not many DEs in a 3-4 do. Vaughn Martin was just coming into his own in the 3-4 alignment when he left for greener pastures, but those didn’t turn out as he hoped. After being with the team from 2009 to 2012 and now a free agent, the soon to be just 28-year-old Martin would add some much-needed depth to the defensive line. He could come cheap as well which is always appealing.

3. Steve Gregory, S

Steve Gregory Chargers
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

3. Steve Gregory, S

Steve Gregory Chargers
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Weddle is still the freelancing maniac at safety in San Diego, but he is missing that complementary piece beside him. Steve Gregory was that part with the Bolts from 2006 to 2011 where he roamed center field and covered up any of Weddle’s mistakes on the back-end. Though he is 31 years of age now, a short-term, low-risk investment would certainly be worth considering with the need in the secondary.

2. Darren Sproles, RB

Darren Sproles
Getty Images

2. Darren Sproles, RB

Darren Sproles
Getty Images

It seems crazy that the New Orleans Saints are going to part with Darren Sproles, but perhaps at 30 years old he just isn’t worth the cost anymore. That could make the diminutive back hungry to prove the doubters wrong which would revitalize his career. Bolts fans remember his explosive nature from 2005 to 2010 with the team making defenders look silly on the regular. A flashback to those days would be much appreciated.

1. Shaun Phillips, LB

Shaun Phillips
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

1. Shaun Phillips, LB

Shaun Phillips
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Cutting Dwight Freeney off of his season-ending injury at 33 years of age still seems like the smart move to me for the Chargers. With a move like that, bringing Shaun Phillips back to fill the void would make a lot of sense. It remains a mystery why the new regime let him leave in the first place, but his production from 2004 to 2012 with the Bolts would be immediately welcomed back into the rotation at outside linebacker.


Around the Web