Available Free Agents for The Chargers

December 2, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown (24) tackles Oakland Raiders fullback Jeremy Stewart (32) during the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

BoltFam, yesterday we´ve discussed possible post-June 1 moves by our San Diego Chargers. Today is June 1st and this means we now have $4.5 million more in cap space available, as Jared Gaither´s release came with a June 1 designation. Part of that available money will be used to sign D.J. Fluker, who will be a cap hit of about $2,070,000 in his first year for the Chargers.

We´ve also talked about the comments by ESPN´s Bill Williamson who said that he thinks D.J. Fluker will be “a Pro Bowler at right guard” but “will struggle some at right tackle”. I don´t want to go trough that story again, because I hate that thought of Fluker not being good enough to play at right tackle. I´ve also mentioned that Eric Winston and Winston Justice are still available in free agency, if the worst case becomes reality (and Fluker plays at right guard).

But we´re going to stay positive here and expect that the beast from the Southern-East will do just fine on the right end of the O-Line. But still there are roster spots that could use some depth.

If Jeromey Clary gets cut in order to free up some cap space (his $3.4 million impact in dead money could be spread over the next years), I guess we would have to pick up another guy for the right guard position. We already know that Brandon Moore currently is the best guard available in free agency. Let´s take a closer look at the former New York Jet.

The 33-year old veteran´s name is often used with the word “Butt fumble” in one sentence. This refers to a play in the Patriots vs. Jets game in week 12 last season, where Jets´ quarterback Mark Sanchez ran directly into his teammate´s rear end to fumble the ball and give up a touchdown. But after all, the blame is on Sanchez, because Moore had his man blocked on that play. Whatever, the 2011 Pro-Bowler is coming off a terrific season. His run blocking skills would be attractive to any team looking to move the ball on the ground. Plus, he’s also been pretty reliable in pass protection. Moore would definitely make sense for the San Diego Chargers (in my opinion). He would be a solid option for maybe the next two years and wouldn´t come in too expensive at this stage of free agency I guess.

We also figured out that Eddie Royal (more or less) is expendable, now that the Chargers selected the slot receiver and kick returner threat Keenan Allen in the third round of the draft. If he gets shown the door, the depth chart of the kick and punt returner spot, however, could use some upgrade.

In March, Richard Goodman signed his one-year tender offer and thus will remain with the team in 2013. But he missed nine games in 2012 due to a season-ending harmstring injury and Keenan Allen is recovering from a knee injury too. So having another solid kick returner on the team could be advantageous in many ways. In a previous piece it has already been mentioned that Micheal Spurlock is still available and could be a very solid option here.

December 9, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Micheal Spurlock (87) runs with the ball on a punt return against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. The San Diego Chargers won 34-24. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Last offseason, the Chargers signed Micheal Spurlock (that´s right, “Micheal,” not “Michael”), but released him on October 3, 2012 in order to make room for cornerback Chris Carr. Due to a lot of injuries in the wide receiver (and kick returner) corps, the Bolts claimed Micheal Spurlock off waivers again on November 28, 2012. He immediately was a huge factor in the return game, leading the team in yards per punt return while second in yards per kick return, along with having a punt and kick return touchdown. Spurlock played seven games last year and was a major reason why the Lightning Bolts went from 22nd in yards per punt return in 2011 to 15th in 2012. But he also had his part on the offense; e.g. he recorded seven catches for 64 yards as slot receiver in the victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 14.

I really loved what Micheal Spurlock brought to the table last year and I also was a little bit disappointed that Goodman was brought back instead of the 30-year old return specialist. Spurlock was a $540,000 cap hit last year – I don´t think he´d come in at a significant higher price tag.

The last roster spot I want to address here is the cornerback position.

It´s not a secret anymore that I´m worried about the current CB depth situation. We already talked about the possibility that interesting players could become available in free agency in the next days or weeks. But what if no decent cornerback is among those free agents? Is any corner available right now? The answer is: Yes! The former Cleveland Brown Sheldon Brown is still unsigned.

Just like Quentin Jammer, Brown will be entering his 12th season in the National Football League. But unlike the long-time Charger, he is coming off a great year, racking up 58 tackles, 3 interceptions (1 for a touchdown), 12 passes defended, 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries and 1 forced fumble.

There is another thing that should get you excited about the 34-year old veteran: Brown has played in 175 straight games since being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2002, including the past 47 with the Browns. Unfortunately his amazing streak of never missing an NFL game came to an end last year in week 16 when they played our division rival, the Denver Broncos. He suffered a concussion on a blindside hit by wide receiver Brandon Stokely and has not been cleared by doctors; this means, he missed the game in week 17 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Our injury-prone crew in the secondary probably could use some healthy and reliable veteran power. I guess if he would come in at a price tag of about $2 million it would be a solid deal. I assume he seeks for revenge and how could he do it better than in the AFC West where he can mess up the Broncos´ passing game twice a year.

So, BoltFam, if no other options at the above-mentioned positions become available in the next few days, would you pull the trigger on one of these veterans in free agency? Let us know what you think about it!

Thank you for reading!

BoltnRoll!

Topics: San Diego Chargers

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  • tubbs45

    I had heard the Bolt were talking with Routt, not sure about that option for a CB… I do like the idea of bringing in a proven guard like Moore for less $$, but depth at tackle may prove to be more important.

    • MC Boltman

      Wow Routt…he signed a big contract last year in KC..would be interesting what his asking price is…yes Moore could be a nice option as “replacement” for Clary…and I think or hope D.J. Fluker will be solid at RT. He will have his probs with speed rushers…but hopefully he´ll be able to fix that one day too

      • Alter Ego

        The Sheldon Brown bit made your piece MC. Not a big fan of Moore and the possibility of landing him – I can’t see that the grass is greener with him compared to our cheaper players (except Clary – who makes starter $$…he will be a monster though) in our new never seen by us – offense.
        I think you are on to something with Sheldon…that move makes great sense to me.
        Each roster spot has to carry their own weight. No more one trick ponies. Our return men this year hopefully can produce more quality snaps at their player positions – so “meh” to Spurlock and Goodman and possibly Royal too. Be great or be unemployed. Its proving time.

        • MC Boltman

          Well thanx. But I´ve to admit I´m not a “fan” of Moore either, but as he is the best guard available he could make sense, if they get rid of Clary (which obviously won´t happen). I think Fluker needs an experienced guy next to him if he wants to do well already in his first year.

          And yes Sheldon Brown could be a nice option with his awesome reliability in that injury-prone secondary. And he´s coming off a great year. Sure he is gettin up in age, but if you want to be some kind of contender then you need vets on your team anyways.

  • Cgoodness13

    I’d feel way more comfortable with Brown and spurlock on the team

    • MC Boltman

      Both could make sense…if they´d come in cheap (Spurlock surely would).

  • Sergio Quintero

    The chargers should sign veterans at Safety, Corner, Nose tackle, and probably a blocking TE or Dallas Walker actually will make this team.

    • MC Boltman

      The secondary definitely should be adressed…that depth chart up there scares me a bit.

    • john

      they already signed a blocking TE, the guy drom dallas

      • Sergio Quintero

        McCoy ran a good portion of plays (at around 15%) with 2 TE’s blocking on the play, which he basically, plays in which they mostly ran the ball or threw long passes up the field. I know they have Phillips, but I’m not buying either Gates or Green as a true blocking TE, so another mostly blocking TE is useful and fits the scheme that McCoy wants to run.

        In Denver, used the fullback at around 10% of the time, so don’t be shocked they only carry one FB, and carry a blocking TE rather than a second FB.

  • Stefanie Smith

    I loved Spurlock. He played well last season.

    • tubbs45

      I agree, Spurlock works hard. Not a fan of his punt returning, but he is a great slot option and cheaper than royal!

      • Sergio Quintero

        At the end of the day I would prefer to see Brown & Allen get snaps at the slot, getting them on the field with easy receptions should build their confidence and accelerate their development.

    • MC Boltman

      Me too..and he could come in very cheap…winning :)

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

        I <3 TD returns… especially at that price.

        • Sergio Quintero

          Spurlock only gets signed if they cut both Royal & Goodman, there just isn’t any room for him.

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

            I always see the potential in Goodman’s return skills.. but, he never quite gets there. If they keep him, I hope he finally has a breakout year. They might still cut him, if he doesn’t do well. We have a new ST coach this year too, which scares me. Hope we don’t have a repeat special teams meltdown, like a few years ago = /

          • Sergio Quintero

            With Both Royal & Goodman on the chopping block I’m quite curious to see who are going to be the returners for this team.

            My guess is that Goodman stays, because he actually contributes beyond the returns and actually tends to be play more games than Royal, so then who is the punt returner how about Danny Woodhead??

  • Stefanie Smith

    What is the deal with Eric Winston? He gets let go a lot and now not getting signed somewhere? I mean, why did KC let Winston go?

    • tubbs45

      Winston has the same rap on him as clary. KC fans couldnt stand him.

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

        Exactly. Winston isn’t much better than Clary. Let’s be real folks.

        • Stefanie Smith

          I think you are right, Pete.

          • MC Boltman

            I´m afraid you all won´t be fans of Fluker next season…I´m not sure if Fluker will be better than Winston…and again the Chiefs cut him to save money…he was $6.5 million cap hit and they were able to save $3.5 million AND they tagged Brandon Albert AND they had the first overall pick in the draft…saving that much money (for big contract like Bowe´s) made him expendable. BUT I´m not saying we should get Winston, but I think, overall, he is a better guy than Clary…

        • MC Boltman

          Well, but if Winston is not good enough…you then would have to enter the Andre Smith price range and that is Winston x 2. And I´m not sure what you expect from D.J. Fluker next year…I´m afraid he will have his probs against speed rushers (just like in college)…and the question is, whether or not he really is better than Winston. I´m not saying that we should get Winston, but I think he would be an upgrade over Clary – maybe not that much – but for an $3 million guy (or maybe less at this stage of FA) you can´t expect to get a Jake Long or Ryan Clady type of tackle. Winston btw has gone six years without missing a start…I like such stats very much (but in this case Clary is pretty reliable too).

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

            Wait… I’m confused.. do you think they are cutting Clary, or that Clary is staying? Because if Clary stays, that would mean either Fluker is playing right tackle, or Clary is playing right tackle.

          • MC Boltman

            Oh I meant that in general…that Winston is better than Clary…but I assume Clary will stay and I hope Fluker is good enough to play RT. If he can´t play RT and he would play RG (…that thought..ugh!) then wow…I don´t want Clary as RT, and $5.7 million for a backup is way too much…so I guess they would have to cut Clary then and trust that Dunlap is good enough to start (at LT or RT). Or put Dunlap and Starks in competition and sign a decent RT that could compete with Harris for the RT job…but I don´t want to think that Fluker won´t play RT
            And basically I just wanted to point out that IMO Winston is better than Clary (overall)…not more :)

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

            We will find out pretty soon here. If we don’t see a Clary cut soon, then Fluker is your guy… speed-rush problems and all.

          • MC Boltman

            Wow…man, Fluker has to be our guy..would be so disappointed if not…but a hard workin veteran at RG will be good for him (Clary or someone else..).

      • Stefanie Smith

        Yeah. Remember, he also got cut from the Texans. Something is up with this guy. He likely has some issues. I mean, he has visited teams and no team signs him.

        • MC Boltman

          The main reason why no one signed him, is because he wants too much money…the market isn´t too good for FAs this year…why did Freeney last that long? Because he asked for too much money…he lowered his asking price and we were desperate that´s why we pulled the trigger..and that´s good, I think he is worth that money…and btw the Texans were one of the first teams that expressed interest in Winston this year…(but again: money).

    • boltingindiego

      the 2 main reasons why he was released was 1 was money and 2nd they were gonna use the 1st pick on an ot.

    • MC Boltman

      Yeh boltingindiego said it already… the Chiefs cut Winston in order to
      create more cap space. They made huge moves in free agency, e.g. by
      tagging Brandon Albert and signing Dwayne Bowe to a
      big five-year contract…and they had the 1st overall pick – and the most valuable guys in this years´ draft had been OTs…that made Winston expendable

  • Sergio Quintero

    I like Sheldon Brown as 3-4 corner on the roster, any ideas on a veteran Nose Tackle or a useful blocking TE??

    I know McCoy really likes 2 TE sets, but I pretty much have accepted that Gates is a way below average blocker, plus he rarely if ever used a FB in Denver, so carrying 4 TE’s seems quite likely.

    • MC Boltman

      Well, after they´ve signed Fluker they won´t have much money to get too busy in FA. Don´t think they´ll bring in a veteran nose tackle. I´m sure Kwame Geathers will make the roster. Byron Jerideau seems to be promising too. Speaking bout blocking TE´s: John Phillips is a solid one and besides Dallas Walker they picked up UDFA Ben Cotton. If he makes the roster, then only as blocking TE (6´5″, bout 260 lbs). Also don´t think they´ll get busy in FA here. And yes if he comes in cheap, then Brown could be a solid option for CB depth..he´s “old”, but he had a great season and he´s incredibly reliable (i.e. healthy). A healthy guy in that injury-prone secondary would be nice.

      • Sergio Quintero

        At this point they may carry up to 5-6 UDFA’s on the roster, I like the chances of Michael Hill RB, Walker or Cotton as blocking TE, Geathers/Jerideau NT, Marcus Cromartie CB, Devan Walker OLB, Addea SS.

        • MC Boltman

          Yeh, but OT Nick Becton should make the roster too. I think LB Frank Beltre has better chances to make the roster than Devan Walker (although he played 3-4 in college). And it would be nice if another DB would make the roster, although I´m not too sure bout that..maybe Greg Brown as he could be used as safety and corner…we´ll see

  • Cgoodness13

    In other news how about mccoys family? http://t.co/vCfCIc2noZ

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