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NFL San Diego Chargers

The 5 Biggest Free Agent Signings In San Diego Chargers History

The 5 Biggest Free Agent Signings in San Diego Chargers History

San Diego Chargers Qualcomm
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

With the tight cap, every GM including Tom Telesco wants to build their roster through the draft. Throughout time, most of the San Diego Chargers' biggest stars were homegrown drafted guys like Junior Seau, LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers. Here are five of the biggest free agents that left a mark on the Chargers.

5. Charlie Joiner

Charlie Joiner Wide Receiver
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5. Charlie Joiner

Charlie Joiner Wide Receiver
Getty Images

In his 11-year career, Charlie Joiner put together a resume that got him into the Hall of Fame in 1996. He caught for over 9,203 yards with 586 receptions and 47 touchdowns. Originally drafted by the Houston Oilers, the Chargers signed Joiner from the Cincinnati Bengals in 1976. Adding Joiner with Fouts and Coryell made the Chargers a presence in the AFC West -- too bad the 1981 squad couldn't get past the Bengals to get to a Super Bowl.

4. Tony Martin

Tony Martin Miami Dolphins
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4. Tony Martin

Tony Martin Miami Dolphins
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Tony Martin was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1990 and was signed by the Chargers in 1994. During his four-year stint with the Chargers, he led the wide receivers in receiving yards. That includes his first year in a Chargers uniform when they played and lost in the Super Bowl. Adding Tony Martin was key for Stan Humphries and have a threat alongside Shawn Jefferson.

3. Doug Flutie

Doug Flutie Pro Bowl Brees
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

3. Doug Flutie

Doug Flutie Pro Bowl Brees
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Flutie was the first San Diego Chargers quarterback to follow Ryan Leaf. At that point, any QB would have done better. Flutie came at an interesting time when the Chargers brought in Marty Schottenheimer in 2002 and drafted a young Drew Brees out of Purdue. In 2001, Flutie made all 16 starts and put up a 5-11 record. What's more necessary was the mentoring of Brees throughout that season. In 2002, Brees was named the starter.

2. John Carney

John Carney K

2. John Carney

John Carney kickoff

John Carney had a long career with the Chargers until being let go in 2000. In 1994, he finished a career-high 34 field goals made. Without a doubt, his leg helped that Chargers team win some games in the cold.

1. Donnie Edwards

Donnie Edwards Kansas City Chiefs
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1. Donnie Edwards

Donnie Edwards Kansas City Chiefs
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Donnie Edwards came to the Chargers at the right time. His former coach in Kansas City, Marty Schottenheimer, was hired on to coach a young lineup with some promising stars. In Edwards' five years with the Chargers, he had at least 100 tackles, an amazing stat for someone who never reached a Pro Bowl.