1. Welcome to San Diego Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the San Diego Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Create an Account or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Chargers Team Report - 03/05/10

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    5,085
    Ratings:
    +268
    Source: <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/notes.htm" target="_blank">USA Today</a>
    <div>

    <div class="alignright"><a href="http://media.scout.com/media/image/51/511551.jpg"><img title="Jamal Williams" src="http://media.scout.com/media/image/51/511551.jpg" alt="" width="173" height="230" /></a></div>

    The Chargers continue to make sweeping changes to their roster by releasing Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jamal Williams.</div>
    The longtime heart and soul of the team's interior defense was let go, joining LaDainian Tomlinson as past featured players hitting the streets.

    But unlike Tomlinson, there is a chance Williams could return - but that's no guarantee.

    "This is a difficult time of year and the most difficult part of our job," general manager A.J. Smith said. "Jamal has been an anchor of our defense for 12 seasons. He's battled courageously at one of the most punishing positions on the field, and I respect him immensely."

    Williams tore his triceps in last year's season-opener and landed on IR, wiping out the majority of his season. But it appeared the Chargers were counting on Williams to get healthy and return to shore up a shoddy run defense.

    Williams, though, will soon turn 34 and was to earn some $6 million next season, which includes a roster bonus.

    That was too rich for the Chargers' blood, not to mention Williams' physical state is such that him coming back to play at a Pro Bowl level was doubtful.

    While Williams' release was a bit shocking, the team reversed course with another key player: running back Darren Sproles.

    The team, it appeared, was going to let Sproles go after one year of being its franchise player. But while the Chargers didn't get all that much bang for their $6.6 million they gave Sproles last year, they have decided to seek his return.

    Sproles, who also returns kickoffs and punts, was tendered as a restricted free agent with a first- and third-round choice and a $7 million price tag.

    That's awfully rich, but no one is quite sure if it is enough to scare off another team in an uncapped season. It could also signal that the Chargers and Sproles are nearing a long-term deal.

    The Chargers did decide to move on without another running back, and that is veteran Michael Bennett.

    But it was the news that Williams is leaving and Sproles is staying - for now - which caught many Chargers watchers off-guard.

    With Williams gone, the Chargers will be seeking a bigger and better defensive tackle than what their roster shows now. Behind Williams is Ryon Bingham, but he doesn't have nearly the size of skill sets which led Williams to three Pro Bowl selections.

    So in addition to running backs being at the top of Smith's list, he needs to find a massive defensive tackle that can fit into the Chargers' 3-4 alignment.

    <strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong>

    -OLB Shawne Merriman has expressed disappointment with being a restricted free agent, a distinction necessitated by the NFL going to an uncapped year next season. "Business is business but some things just aren't right," he said.

    General manager A.J. Smith just shrugged. "It goes with the territory," he said. "Everybody has an opinion and voices their opinion and you understand that."

    -DE Luis Castillo underwent shoulder surgery and has completed his rehab.

    -DE Jacques Cesaire had procedures to clean up debris in his elbow and knee and can start working out again.

    -C Nick Hardwick, who had ankle surgery last season, had a shoulder operation when the season ended. He will be ready for the Chargers' minicamp sessions.

    -The team, which is looking at a downtown site for a new stadium, said it might link the development with a sports arena as well. So far, the issue has not come to a vote, which many consider an uphill battle to get passed.

    -TE Antonio Gates had his No. 44 basketball jersey retired at Kent State. "Kent State has done so much for me," Gates said. "The man I was when I left Kent State is not the person I was when I got to Kent State."

    -The Chargers have had a character issues with many players so maybe that is why their recent trip to the Combine came with plenty of personal interviews. "I think one of the most important things we get from the Combine is what goes on off the field," said John Spanos, the team's director of college scouting.

    <strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "This was the year we decided we were going to move forward and we are not looking back." - GM A.J. Smith on releasing future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson.

    <strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong>

    The Chargers are going to try their best to keep some of their top-notch players from vacating. But as always, the focus when it comes to bringing in new players will be the draft.

    Although with the numerous shortcoming on the both sides of the ball, this might be the year the Chargers are more active enticing other players to come west.

    OFFSEASON STRATEGY

    The Chargers, under A.J. Smith, have never been big players in the free-agent market. But might that change this year with so many holes appearing on the Chargers roster?

    The release of LaDainian Tomlinson and Jamal Williams underscores just how thin the Chargers are at that position.

    But the Chargers do get a break with it being an uncapped year as they can likely bring back OLB Shawne Merriman, WRs Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd and left tackle Marcus McNeill at reasonable prices; all have been allocated first- and third-round tenders.

    TEAM NEEDS

    1. Running back: The Chargers' need here might have lessened slightly with the news they will seek to retain Darren Sproles. But with the subtraction of LaDainian Tomlinson and Michael Bennett, the Chargers don't have a true every down back on the roster.

    2. Defensive tackle: With Pro Bowler Jamal Williams being released, there is a huge need here - especially with the Chargers running a 3-4 alignment. Don't be surprised if the Chargers burn their first draft pick on a space-eating defensive tackle.

    3. Right guard: The Chargers have been trying to upgrade this spot for a couple of years but without much luck. They would probably be OK going into the season with Jeromey Clary and Brandyn Dombrowski at this spot, but that doesn't mean they won't be looking hard to get better.

    MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

    FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

    TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

    UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

    -DT Alfonso Boone filled a need last year but the team looks to get younger here.

    -C Dennis Norman is at a spot where the team has depth and likely won't come back.

    -WR Kassim Osgood is a three-time Pro Bowler as a special-teamer; he wants to try his luck at receiver and could flee.

    -OL Jon Runyan is going to retire and run for Congress.

    -DT Ian Scott doesn't have the upside the Chargers are looking for and will likely depart.

    UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

    -*DT Antonio Garay (not tendered as RFA) was a late-season addition and doesn't figure in the team's plans moving forward.

    -*C Eric Ghiaciuc (not tendered as RFA) won't have a place with the number of linemen - when healthy - ahead of him.

    -*OLB Marques Harris (not tendered as RFA) is a decent pass rusher but the Chargers will likely see him go where he would get more of a chance to contribute.

    -*LB Dontarrious Thomas (not tendered as RFA) seldom saw the field when arriving late last year and appears to be a goner.

    RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (*indicates restricted because of uncapped year)

    -RT Jeromey Clary (tendered at $1.684M with second-round pick as compensation) will return but will be pushed by Brandyn Dombrowski for a starting job.

    -*ILB Tim Dobbins (tendered at $1.176M with fifth-round pick as compensation) is a solid backup after getting lapped by Brandon Siler; should return.

    -*WR Malcom Floyd (tendered at $3.168M with first- and third-round picks as compensation) could likely get more passes thrown his way elsewhere, but he likes San Diego and will likely take a little less to remain here.

    -*WR Vincent Jackson (tendered at $3.268M with first- and third-round picks as compensation) is the team's top receiver and will be brought back - unless the team has grown tired of his immaturity; that's doubtful after two 1,000-yard seasons.

    -*DL Travis Johnson (tendered at $1.226M with first-round pick as compensation) will probably have to settle for less money, but the former first-round pick of the Texans might have found a home in San Diego.

    -*LT Marcus McNeill (tendered at $3.168M with first- and third-round picks as compensation) is a stud at left tackle and among the team's biggest offseason priorities.

    -*OLB Shawne Merriman (tendered at $3.168M with first- and third-round picks as compensation) will return, possibly, if willing to swallow his pride and lower his price tag. A motivated Merriman playing on a one-year deal could be attractive to the Chargers.

    -*RB Darren Sproles (tendered at $7.283M with first- and third-round picks as compensation) was tendered after it was first thought the Chargers would let him go.

    -*QB Charlie Whitehurst (tendered at $1.176M with third-round pick as compensation) is learning a ton at the No. 3 spot, so he finally absorbs one more year of education and then moves on.

    EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

    -OLB Antwan Applewhite (tendered at $470,000) can deliver a burst off the ball and is keen on special teams. He should be brought back.

    -FB Mike Tolbert (tendered at $470,000) continues to improve and the Chargers could give him more carries in the base offense, depending on the situation at running back.

    PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

    -TE Kris Wilson: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

    PLAYERS ACQUIRED: None.

    PLAYERS LOST

    -RB Michael Bennett (released).

    -TE Brandon Manumaleuna has agreed to a five-year deal with Chicago, according to multiple reports. Manumaleuna reunites with Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who was the Rams' head coach when Manumaleuna was a quality blocking tight end for St. Louis.

    -RB LaDainian Tomlinson (released).

    -NT Jamal Williams (released).
     

Share This Page