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News » San Diego Chargers Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-06

San Diego Chargers Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-06

San Diego Chargers Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-06
The team doesn't figure to be big players in the free agency market, as the Chargers tend to build their roster through the draft.

That doesn't expect to change, as GM A.J. Smith's philosophy is to target good young players on his team and sign them to long-term contracts.

But it doesn't always pan out as he has given long-term deals to defensive end Luis Castillo and linebackers Matt Wilhelm and Jyles Tucker with mixed results.


While not chasing the big-name free agents seeking the big bucks, the Chargers would still like upgrade a few areas with some fresh faces.

Safety Jermaine Phillips, who has started 64 games over the past five years with Tampa Bay, came in for a visit. He played strong safety the last two years and the Chargers are looking to displace 2008 opening day starter Clinton Hart in that role if possible.

Another player to keep an eye on is Kevin Burnett, an inside linebacker who has started four games in his career after being the Cowboys' second round pick in 2005.


1. Running back: The Chargers are still seeking an every-down back. Will that be LaDainian Tomlinson - yes, if he agrees to a restructured deal. If not, the Chargers offer just Darren Sproles, who is dynamite when getting to the edge but cannot carry the load between the tackles.

2. Secondary: The team is seeking depth at cornerback and a possible fresh starter at strong safety. Antonio Cromartie has been put on notice at one cornerback spot; last year's opening day starter Clinton Hart at strong safety saw him playing time diminish as the season wore on.

3. Offensive line: With Mike Goff, the right guard being able to leave, and Jeromey Clary, the right tackle, revealing blemishes in his game, the Chargers are keen on rebuilding this side of the line.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: RB Darren Sproles: Tendered at $6.621M.



--RG Mike Goff has been reliable and a hard-nosed player, but the Chargers have said he won't be back.

--OLB Marques Harris was used on passing downs and has shown some promise, but he won't be re-signed.

--C Jeremy Newberry was a valuable backup when Nick Hardwick was injured early last season, but the Chargers won't re-sign him.

--DE Igor Olshansky griped about his playing time after the season and the Chargers won't try to re-sign him.


--WR Malcom Floyd (tendered at $1.545M with second-round pick as compensation) has a good connection with QB Philip Rivers and can be a solid red-zone target. Injuries slowed him some down the stretch last year.

--CB Cletis Gordon (tendered at $1.545M with second-round pick as compensation) surprised some by getting that tender as some of his shortcomings were exposed when playing extended stretches last year. But he is a solid special teams player and has potential as a returner.


--OT Jeromey Clary started for the first time last year and was adequate. But the team is looking to upgrade here.


--OG Kynan Forney: Potential UFA; $4.8M/2 yrs, SB unknown.



--RB Eldra Buckley (released).

--LB Anthony Waters (released).

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 6, 2009

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