Dec 9 2012, Indianapolis, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Dwight Freeney (93) waits to be introduced during player introductions before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Hindsight is 20/20


 

 

I won’t start out this article rehashing the details of the Melvin Ingram situation. I think we all know that he is out for the season, and how this affects our pass rush. I will simply discuss what I am seeing out there in “comment land”. I am a positive guy, and so are many of you. The overwhelming majority of us have faith in the new management, and their ability to recover from this type of unfortunate event. Hopefully, the only blow we will have to absorb will be the fact that we don’t get to see Ingram “beast out” for another year, and that we may have to spend some much needed salary cap money.

What probably stings the most, is that about a month ago, we let Shaun Phillips walk out the door. Many fans felt it was time for the new talent on the team to rise to the occasion, and step into the starting roll, opposite Johnson. There were also people who thought we should do our best to retain Phillips. Denver ended up signing him for a very reasonable price. This shocked a lot of fans, as it didn’t appear that any decent offer was made to keep him. Phillips will play opposite Von Miller, and not behind Ingram & Johnson. So, that reason was probably a big contributor to him leaving. To make things worse, Antwan Barnes was also lost earlier in free agency. With Ingram down, this is “worst case scenario” time.

Now, we are courting Dwight Freeney, and it won’t be cheap. Despite an All-Pro carreer, Freeney only had five sacks in 2012. Freeney spent his career in an Idianapolis Colts 4-3 defense, until the switch was made to 3-4 last year. This may have contributed to the low sack total, as many people point out. Still, this is somewhat alarming, seeing that we will most likely have to sign him to a multi-year deal, and dish out a good chunk of cash. That money was (presumably) to be spent on a left tackle, a strong safety, or saved for a rainy day. In comparison, Shaun Phillips had 9 sacks last year, and was signed for a fraction of what Freeney will cost. You could probably have kept both Phillips & Barnes for what we will pay Freeney, unless Telesco is a magician. Hindsight is definitely 20/20 in this case.

I have been sifting through the posts on here, and on other sites, and there seems to be some disagreement about signing Freeney. Comments range from “YES! Get him signed NOW”, to “He’s overpriced”, to “We need a left tackle more”. Some people are even angry about Telesco letting Barnes & Phillips go in the first place. Others are questioning if Freeney is worth the price or even an upgrade over Phillips, based on last year’s numbers. But, like I said earlier, hindsight is 20/20. We all know that the NFL is a “what have you done for me lately” league. Especially when it comes to paying a lot of money for an aging veteran pass rusher. Regardless of these facts, fans basically have two opinions. Either we sign another pass rusher (no matter who, or when we do it), or we roll with the youngsters we have now.

What do you think Charger fans? Is signing Freeney a good idea? Is Freeney worth the money? Should the money be used to fill other positions of need, or saved for the future? Did Tom Telesco make a mistake letting Barnes & Phillips go, or was it a necessary gamble that just didn’t pay off? Are the pass rushers we have now capable of stepping up? Should we be patient, and see if one of the OLB’s we have now can rise, or see if anyone becomes available after team cuts are made? If Freeney is signed, what do you think his numbers will look like in 2013? Please let us know how you feel in the comments section below.

As always…. Keep Charging Torward Excellence! Thanks for reading.

Peter Thompson

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

    Melvin’s injury cannot be blamed on management. I think many of the fans equate getting an FA as something against management. You can’t just sit there. Yes, have faith, but there is faith that those in charge will act. TT is doing that. Have faith in that and be thankful he just doesn’t sit there.

    I think he let Barnes and Phillips go thinking he could re-sign them later. Maybe that was a mistake, or guessing incorrectly that no one would pick them up that quickly. But even if we characterize this as a TT mistake, should he just sit there and cry and do nothing? No. He comes up with Plan B, which is what TT is doing.

    • tubbs45

      I blame AJ and Norv… It’s not their fault, but it make me feel better!

      • Nick in PB

        Tubbs, in a way, it was their fault! Norv couldn’t get the most out of his players so he needed more players. AJ was on his last thread and made some desperate moves and now we are broke because of it. In truth, some of the players we let go this year, maybe should have gone last year but AJ and Norv were too afraid to make those moves. Can you even imagine what TT is thinking about what they did (norv and AJ) last year??? Let’s face it, TT had/has a lot of work to do.

        • tubbs45

          I was was just talking about Melvin. oh all the other bull shit is clearly an after affect of AJ’s last ditch effort: Meachum, Royal, and a bunch of one year defensive deals. And who could forget the Big Lazy contract that was almost completely guaranteed …

  • tubbs45

    Letting Barnes, Philips, Alexander, aubrayo, williams, cason, and kitty-car go into FA was a calculated risk… But when you’re ham-strung with big lazy and Meachum’s type contracts for non-productive players what the hell else can you do? You can’t blow the pocket book and not be able to sign draft picks. You have to pick and choose you big evaluated needs first. DA was signed back, thankfully!
    Now a new huge hole at OLB and we are going to get the best pass rusher out there, a defensive end really. TT has already said they may hybridize the defense to fit him… Not a fan of that idea, but if you are going to do that go get Abraham(sp?) cut from ATL. He is a better fit IMO, faster, and with less diva qualities…

    • davacho

      exactly- freaking exactly.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

      You are right, tubbs. Said it right. When you list all the guys he let walk out the door, makes me sad. All of them should not have been let go, but yeah, he gambled. Now on to Plan B.

    • Guest

      Abraham (35) is older than Freeney (33)

      • tubbs45

        His last name also begins with A… your point is? they would both be short-term loaners…

    • Alter Ego

      Nice Tubbs, solid point.
      Abraham and Freeney are one in the same as far as options – not a fan of that.
      The Supp draft is coming up,,, we will of course be watching the waiver wire looking for a good fit…or we can always make a trade if TT / McCoy think its the thing to do. Signing Freeney today wasn’t. I applaud our teams leadership – they are doing exactly the right thing right now.

  • tubbs45

    PT. great article, seriously.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Thanks Tubbs. Just trying to find which direction the compass is pointing, now that the initial shock of losing SuperMel has kinda worn off. I love hearing what eveyone’s thoughts are!

      • Nick in PB

        I agree, very nice article. Now if you could write some more about the 9ft. 11in. WR!!!!

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          One typo, and I can’t catch a break…. Maybe he is the slender-man receiver.. lol. (If you don’t know… here it is).

          • tubbs45

            TT get sender man signed up before the Broncos game… make this shit happen!!!!

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            Maybe we can sign him as our new OLB, and he can scoop Mamming up, and drag him off to another dimension?

  • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

    get me freeney!!! if they can hook up the system in order to get the most out of freeney and the other players, then get it done.

    • [email protected]

      I think its not gunna happen the chargers signed thomas keiser olb from the panthers, it could mean bad things didnt go so well with freeney I hope we still get him

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      I’m on the phone with TT right now! Consider it done ; )

  • thegorn

    “The overwhelming majority of us have faith in the new management” Faith? More like resignation.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Hahahaha… whatever you want to call it, I guess. I posted a poll a little while ago, and it was a landslide in the TT approval category. Not everyone has faith, but most people do. Maybe it’s time for another poll, now that something bad has happened? Lol.

      • MC Boltman

        Faith – here! TT is makin a solid job so far. Don´t know if we would have been able to get Phillips back on the roster with a 1-year, 1-million deal…but if so, then I´d say our new Chargers head men did not well on this one. But whatever #InTelesco&McCoyWeTrust

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          Eh, even if they didn’t make him an offer… no use cryin’ over spilled milk. We don’t play our first game in Denver until late in the season. Plenty of time for these rooks to beat up on lesser competition.Which is pretty much everyone, compared to Denver. I have to say that Kansas City will be a big test for the OLB crew, now that Fisher & Albert are the bookends. (you heard it here first… lol). We have a couple big bookends ourselves, though. Dunlap may not be the best, but his weakness seems to be the run, not as much pass protection. Isn’t that what the problem was?

          • Nick in PB

            Peter, you made a really good point that Phillips knew he was going to sit behind Ingram. He had to go. It would have been nice to keep Barnes. I thought they would but I’m sure there was a lot of faith put on Ingram to deliver. It was his time, and we all hated seeing him in spot duty last season. As far as everyone else that went, I would have liked to see us keep Franklin. I understand what Tolesco is doing and whether or not we agree, I think he did what he had to do to make cap space. He has faith in who he brings in and until we start playing, I think we should too. I also think that Freeney is too high priced, unless TT can get him cheaper. But not at 8.5 million.

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            It’s a lot of money, Nick.. fo sho.

          • Alter Ego

            Dunlap is a mauler at run blocking – had some issues with pass protection. We give him help with Denver – we would give almost any LT help with Denver anyway.

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            True.

      • thegorn

        I’ve said this before. From looking at TT’s actions, it’s hard to fathom what TT’s vision for the team is other than a clean house. That’s why I feel resigned.

  • dude_sandpaper

    TT start with FAs has been very rocky to horrible to begin his career as a GM.

  • RussinSactown

    Well he would have needed to polish up a crystal ball in order to anticipate these situations. Who could have expected our T-Rex to blow his knee out? The fact that he brought in Freeney says that TT knows what he’s about and that he could fit our scheme.

  • Ioane

    I say we should sign him. He might have only had 5 sacks but he was playing on a bad ankle and learning a new position. He got a ton of hurries and pressures which could translate into more sacks after playing OLB for a season.

    I also doubt he will be expensive. He hasn’t had a lot of interest from other teams and he’s an aging veteran.

    If we want to compete with Manning we need a pass rush. Depending on English and late round to UDFA guys is too scary for me.

    Sign him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

    The only thing that sort of freaks me out, is all those guys that were released. When is the depth supposed to be here?

    • tubbs45

      well I think TT was hoping the younger guys would carry their weight enabling us to free up some cap room. He also hoped to bring in UDFA talent. I tell ya this new 10 year deal the league, owners and players agreed to makes for a very different landscape!

      • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

        No one likes to say it, but TT did get a little carried away with cleaning out all the players. Now we are out there looking at Freeney,.

        • tubbs45

          If you look at our salary cap situation, what else could he do but try to get some guys back on the cheap… Though I have wondered why we haven’t renegotiated with rivers… Except maybe TT doesn’t want a longer term commitment to PR?

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            Tubbs.. Did Rivers say he wanted to restructure? I forget. Think I saw something a long time ago about it. But, don’t remember the details.

          • Nick in PB

            The problem was that we had a LOT of veteran FA. More than I could ever remember. And less cap space than I can remember. Add those two up and it was inevitable. All those FA would have expected a raise. I think Philip did offer to renegotiate, but that would create cap problems down the road. Gaither really Fucked us. We’ll never know if that was his plan all along but it sure seems like it.

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            DARN YOU GAITHER!!!!

    • Guest

      if your talkin about the olb’s they were free agents so they weren’t released.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

        I realize that, but TT made no attempt (serious attempt) to sign any of them. We all believed they were gone… and they are..now gone.

  • boltingindiego

    Barnes wasn’t effective last year and he was a fa so we replaced him with the rookie olb we drafted. Plus he has a connection with rex which is why he most likely went to ny plus more playing time. Now phillips might of wanted to play for a championship since his career is dwindling down and those donkeys probably gave him the best chance. Wished we could have signed him to a 1 or 2 year deal but maybe he wanted to leave. The only player i wished we kept was martin but hopefully wynn plays as the same level he did.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

      These guys said TT never offered them any kind of deal.

      • boltingindiego

        but if they were offered would they have stayed or left for those 2 places.

  • BlueBoltFan

    My understanding is that SP95 took LESS money to play in Denver. I think the chance to get a ring was probably his #1 concern and something the Chargers can’t offer the way Denver can.

    Freeney is worth adding if the price is okay (I know it won’t be cheap but $8.5 mil for two years is doable depending on how the contract is written up.) If not, John Abraham is still out there, and I think he’s a better pure pass rusher at this point in their careers.

    The problem is, when you’re a rebuilding team (yeah, I said it) with a rookie head coach, money is the only incentive you have to lure veterans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-P-Derrick/1654577989 James P Derrick

    Either way, they (Chargers Brass) are biting the bullet on this…spend the $ now, it will have a domino effect elsewhere with the cap and possibly LT situation……If he isn’t signed, we get a high 1st rounder in the draft next season…b/c no pass rush equals D getting torched on the reg…
    If Rivers goes down, team will be in the same predicament on the Offensive side, so I say role with who you have and bite the bullet that way….but then again, I’m no GM or NFL team owner….

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Great comment JPD!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-P-Derrick/1654577989 James P Derrick

        Thanks Pete keep up the great topics…I am strapped in for the ride… just wish the season was here already…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/davidwu619 David Wu

    Signing Freeney will probably be a waste as he will get at most 6 sacks this year. You’re right in saying that hindsight is 20/20 but I always thought we should have at least kept Barnes as depth because he was a good rotational player who racked up some sacks the prior two or three years. Now we are most likely going to play our young guys. I want to see T. Williams or the UDFA Beltre challenge English for that starter role. Who knows? Maybe one of them is a late round find.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

    Pete: Great article. Thanks.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      You are quite welcome. Inquiring minds want to know ; )

  • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

    I am starting to get burned out with this guy, Freeney. Just read something that his dad told a radio station that he wants his son to play for the Patriots, and started talking about our defensive scheme, etc. But he ended with, “it all comes down to the money now.” It’s not feeling like this is a good thing to be doing.

    *Now another article is saying that the father said Dwight would love to play for the Giants but that they are broke. This is getting ridiculous.

    • RussinSactown

      Well I’m tired of these people’s parents jumping out and saying “Well I think my son should play for…” nonsense. If the Pats were looking to add Freeney don’t you think they would have by now. If I was going for a job and my mom got out and said, “I think he should work for the competitor and here’s why” then we would have to have a talk.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

        I so agree, Russell.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        LOL.. true dat. However, the Pats are the Kings of the low-ball. They could be waiting him out, knowing that nobody really wants to pay that much for him (except for us), and we may not have the money he’s looking for. Then we’ll go sign Abraham (or someone else), and the Pats will get him for 4 million over two years, and they will say to him “It’s a privilege to play for the Pats for less money, Dwight… sign here”. And he will… lol.

  • tubbs45

    Chargers signed Thomas Keiser to add depth to the position. The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder played the last two seasons with the Carolina Panthers, totaling 17 tackles, 4.5 sacks and one interception in 12 games.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

      Well, guess that ends the Freeney talk.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        Or does it? Muahahahaha!

    • Cgoodness13

      Depth, English is starting. Bout time.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        Yeah.. if we roll with him as the starter, at least we FINALLY get to see if this guy can carry the load of the #1 pick for a full season! That is a story in itself.

  • shayaaa

    Well.. this is something: http://m.espn.go.com/mobile/story?storyId=9282042&ex_cid=ScoreCenter:alert:open:story:3622523&appsrc=sc&lang=en&wjb

    “Mike McCoy seemed impressed with free-agent defensive end Dwight Freeney during his San Diego visit, and he said the team will certainly design its defensive scheme to accommodate him if it can sign him.”

  • shayaaa

    Just signed Keiser!
    EDIT: Apparently this doesn’t mean we are out of the hunt for Freeney.
    -”Mike McCoy seemed impressed with free-agent defensive end Dwight Freeney during his San Diego visit, and he said the team will certainly design its defensive scheme to accommodate him if it can sign him.”

  • BoltFanAZ

    Does anyone remember an undrafter free-agent rookie OLB from last year named GAMBLE? The kid played pretty well in the pre-season getting after the QB. I thought we stashed him on our practice squad. Does anyone know where this kid is at today?

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      He was signed by the Redskins.

  • Carl Chitwood Jr.

    OK. Here it goes: I think that we need, as fans, to be realistic **I know that is asking a lot**. This season is not going to be a great one for us. The team needs to build for 1 more off season just because of the cap issues and the holes. We have been patient, sorta, for 50 years (long before my own birth)… let’s recognize that this is a year to build. Let’s support the team as much as we can through this process, and just pray that Rivers survives the season.

    I am sure Telesco and McCoy know that football is about offsetting your weaknesses with strengths at both the micro and the macro level. A pass rush can be generated at the micro level by blitz and stunt schemes. A team can offset a mediocre Defense with a great Offense.

    Long-story short: Telesco should look for a plug-in LT to energize the offense if he wants to be a competitive team this season. Overpaying for an old-ass DE that would play a hybrid role (read: would forecast what he was doing every play) is not the strategy to take.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Yeah.. I don’t think anyone is really expecting anything other than a possible shot at the wild card this year (if things go VERY well). TT had to weed the garden, and it looks a little bare right now. We just have to wait for things to grow again… which they will.

      • Carl Chitwood Jr.

        Yeah, if things go incredibly well because a wildcard would be like winning the lottery for this squad. Heck, looking at the schedule I think a good result would be 7-9 and playing competitively in most of the match-ups.

        There are a couple more rounds of cuts teams have to make, so TT is doing right in his catch and release pattern. Wouldn’t we all be pissed if he signed some crappy LT only to watch a great one hit the market in July? Or Aug?