The Chargers have a litter of players that are going to become free agents in a few weeks and they are trying to figure out their game plan on who they want to keep here and for what price. The player that we will be analyzing today is NT Antonio Garay. Here is a little excerpt from Pro Football Weekly written today:
According to a team insider, the Chargers are optimistic they can retain Garay for the upcoming season without breaking the bank. However, we hear they’d also like to find a younger nose tackle to be part of a rotation with the veteran. Many believe Garay wore down at the end of the year, as he was not used to playing three downs for an entire season. With a capable backup in place, a better rotation would allow the lineman to stay fresh for the entire grind of the year.
Garay is not one of the younger guys that are going to be available in free agency and that should help keep his cost down. That will not stop other teams from pursuing though. I have already seen him on the Kansas City Chiefs radar and for some reason I think that the Carolina Panthers will sign anyone that had been in our defense with Ron Rivera as the head coach. His production took a dip last season also, so that should keep teams a little reluctant. Should that keep the Bolts reluctant in keeping him around? Has he worn down? What should we do with the King Honey Badger?
In my opinion, we have to find a way to keep him around. He is well liked in the locker room and he is a leader on that defensive line. With Luis Castillo possibly getting let go, we need to have some veteran leadership up front with Corey Liuget and Vaughn Martin up there. The nose tackle position is one of the most important positions in the 3-4 defense and we don’t have enough depth there to let Garay walk. Cam Thomas could be the starter if he left, but then we would need to find a backup in the draft or free agency. We have too many holes to fill already to afford letting som
Garay’s production did take a little dip last season, but he might have been a little over worked. Thomas looks like he is ready for more reps on defense and can get Garay more rest in the season. Garay also had a pair of defensive ends that were getting their first opportunities as a starter right next to him. Hopefully we are able to keep Castillo around on a restructured deal and he can add some of his experience up front to help out. The defense also was less aggressive with Greg Manusky running the show. I expect Garay’s production to improve next season.
We should find a way to keep him around in the middle of our defense. PLUS I like seeing that Hello Kitty car driving around town! What do you all think?