Now that the lockout has been lifted at least temporarily, the Chargers need to strike while the window is open. It has been apparent to everyone following the lockout that the lockout will be lifted and the timing of the ruling can’t be more convenient, just three days before the draft. While the owners will appeal, don’t expect them to hold their noses in the air and not go after players. The owners will save their righteous indignation for after the draft and use the added bounty of players to sweeten deals to move up or down in the draft. Expect a flurry of trades and free agent signings to go down over the next 48 hours and players to move during the draft. Judge Nelson did this on purpose, to spur activity and by setting business back to normal, perhaps some more goodwill will prevail once owners are happy about their new acquisitions.
There is a great crop of free agents the Chargers could go after to solidify a squad that is already solid on both sides of the ball. Target number one on the list should be Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. The Chargers would have the best secondary in the league hands down.It would definitely be worth sacrificing the 18th pick to the Raiders. The Raiders do not have a first round draft pick as a result of acquiring Richard Seymour from the Patriots. The Chargers could seriously upgrade the pass rush by adding New York Giant Mathias Kiwanuka, Green Bay Packers Cullen Jenkins and Nick Barnett, Carolina Panther Charles Johnson, Pittsburgh Steeler Lamar Woodley, Minnesota Viking Ray Edwards or New York Jet Shaun Ellis.
There is a nice crop of available wide receivers. Viking Sidney Rice fits the Chargers long, lanky receiver mold perfectly. Giant Steve Smith would be a nice get even if he is only 5’11, he is a legitimate deep threat. Raven TJ Housmandzadeh or Jaguar Mike Sims-Walker are both clutch receivers who would benefit from a wide open Chargers offense.
Kansas City Chief Tamba Hali has caused a lot of havoc against the Chargers through the years. It would be great to get him in the blue and gold. Tampa Bay Buc Barrett Ruud is a great, underrated linebacker who would add depth to the Chargers rotation. Bills inside linebacker Paul Posluszny has been the heart and soul of the Bills 3-4 defense.
By using the stay of execution Judge Nelson has ordered by lifting the lockout, the Chargers could solve their needs before the draft and take a flyer on a raw talent or trade down to get more picks and lock up a Casey Matthews. There are still blue chip wideouts after Julio Jones and A.J. Green who will look good in lightning bolts like Jonathan Baldwin of Pittsburgh or Leonard Hankerson of Miami who will still be waiting in round 2. The Greg One trusts in A.J. Smith to get some talent in town and keep the momentum he started by signing Bob Sanders going.