Sep 24, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner (39) flexes his biceps against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Packers 14-12. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Free Agent Defensive Backs the Chargers Could Use


Free Safety is obviously the only position the Chargers have set in the secondary. Luckily, there are plenty of free agent defensive backs that could be in the Chargers’ price range. I know the consensus for the Chargers is to draft a corner with the 1st round pick. That could still be a good move if one of the top 3 corners is available at #25. but, corners notoriously take a long time to acclimate to the NFL, and we need corner help NOW.

Jahleel Addae played admirably this season after replacing Marcus Gilchrist at the strong safety spot. But, Addae is limited in his ability and while he is a high energy tackler, he doesn’t make the right play as consistently as we need a strong safety to in the run game. The Chargers defense needs an enforcer so Weddle is free to roam the entire field.

 

Cornerback

Brent Grimes: 5’10″, 190 lbs., 30 YO

Grimes is the top free agent corner available. He bounced back very well from an ACL injury and returned to top form. He signed to a small, 1-year deal with the Dolphins last season to prove he could still play, and guess what, he can. Grimes is already 30, so that may work against him, and possibly to the Chargers’ advantage.

 

Captain Munnerlyn: 5’8″, 195 lbs., 25 YO

Munnerlyn is only 5’8″, but he plays like a 7 footer. He is an absolute beast everywhere on the field. He plays aggressive on the outside and on the line of scrimmage. Captain also showed a great ability to rush off the edge for the Panthers. He is very dangerous with the ball in his hands. He took 5 of his 7 career interceptions all the way back for touchdowns.  Munnerlyn has all the skill and quickness needed to be a star on the outside, but the size issue will follow him for his entire career, and the Chargers may be able to get an All-Pro caliber guy for less than what he is worth.

 

Aqib Talib: 6’1″, 205 lbs., 27 YO

Talib is a trouble maker, but when he feels like playing he is a legit #1 corner in the NFL. Unlike Munnerlyn, Talib has the size to defend elite receivers anywhere on the field. He is just so inconsistent. Not because of injuries, but just for lack of trying. Depending on how the rest of the league feels about his antics, he could be available for far less than market value. Even in an average year for the Patriots, he picked off 4 passes in only 13 games.

 

Alterraun Verner: 5’10″, 187 lbs., 25 YO

Verner is a ballhawking corner for the Titans. He had a great 2013 season picking off 5 passes and defending 23. Verner can play on the outside but is quick enough and big enough to move inside in the nickle. Verner could be exactly what the Chargers need to add a legitimate turnover threat on the outside. He isn’t exactly a shutdown corner, but would be a great addition to the Chargers secondary, and would probably become the #1 corner until we add a real shutdown guy.

 

Brandon Browner: 6’4″, 220 lbs., 29 YO

For some reason, I just really like the way Pete Carroll puts together a secondary. Big, strong, fast, tall corners that just bully opposing receivers at the line. The Chargers need some of that tenacity instead of giving opponents 20 yards of cushion on every play. Browner only played in 8 games this year due to injury and still faces a suspension for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. Even though Browner is 29, he has only been in the NFL for 3 years and still has plenty of gas left in the tank. The Chargers could get him on the cheap end on a short deal if Seattle elects to move in a different direction.

 

Strong Safety

TJ Ward: 5’10″, 200 lbs., 27 YO

TJ Ward is amazing in run support, posting 112 total tackles on the year. He is a big hitter in the open field and can burst through the line with ease. He can even make plays in pass defense, picking off 2 passes and deflecting 6 in 2013. But, let me clarify, he is a BIG hitter. He is the one that knocked Gronk out with a torn ACL (to be clear: I do not condone hurting other players, but at least he didn’t accidentally hurt his own teammate.)

 

Donte Whitner: 5’10″, 208 lbs, 28 YO

Whitner is a big, strong safety that does most of his work by knocking receivers off their route and scaring them from going over the middle. He has been in the NFL for 8 years now, but is still only 28 and definitely has a few years left in the tank. The 49ers are trying to get younger in the secondary and may be willing to let him walk. The Chargers need that enforcer on defense badly, and Whitner would add that winning pedigree to the secondary that DJ Fluker added to the offensive line this season.

 

Major Wright: 5’11″, 204 lbs., 25 YO

Major Wright is not quite the big strong safety that Whitner or Ward are. Wright is more of a coverage safety that cannot seem to pick off a pass. Wright has also improved drastically in run support. Even in a bad year in 2013, Wright finished 2nd on the Bears in tackles (100), picked off 2 passes and forced 2 fumbles. He was also plagued with neck injuries all year. Wright could be available for a short “prove it” contract to show that his breakout year in 2012 was not a fluke. Wright has star potential if he can put it together and could move the Chargers a few steps closer to fixing the secondary.

Tags: Featured Free Agency Popular San Diego Chargers

  • chris01

    Man i would love it if we were to get vontae davis then land louis nix resign butler and our defense is set!! If only….

  • Lee

    i would stay away from browner. players who get caught using ped’s usually never come back playing well

    • Conor Cahill

      Haha it agree with you on that. saying next to three pro bowlers helps him out too.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      i would stay away from him also.. wouldnt want to touch him

    • Conor Cahill

      On second thought, at 29 he could be available for a very short unguaranteed contract with some clause about substance/ suspension etc. He could be very valuable with a really low risk if that affects his market value significantly.

    • veazy

      It was just adderall, it wasn’t a big deal or anything. Sherman also went through some shit for the same thing and nobody seems to care about it anymore.

      • Lee

        I didn’t know it was adderall. That’s a ton different

        • boltingindiego

          adderall last year and ,most likely pot this year it wasn’t peds but a substance abuse suspension.

  • Mark Viguri

    With Cox, Patrick and Marshall all falling short Chargers do need another corner but will Telesco have the stones to pull the trigger on another $ high priced FA after the Cox signing? In Telesco’s interview it sure seemed like Cox will be back. Great research but unless one of these guys is the next Rodney Harrison I don’t know if the Chargers need another 5’10″ safety. Weddle and Gilchrist typically were in position to make tackles but got ran over half the time. I’m hoping Addae and Stuckey will continue to see more time on the field next year.

    • Conor Cahill

      Ya TT did act like he would be back but he was pretty non committal. I’m not sure why being 5’10″ makes a difference though, Whitner and Ward are proven pro-bowl caliber players. Gilchrist certainly is not. Besides, I doubt Gilchrist plays much more safety.

      • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

        yea… i dont think gilchrist will be playing safety much longer either

      • Mark Viguri

        Nowadays teams use tall receivers and TEs. I think the new trend will be to copy the Seahawks and Jets and start drafting taller DBs to cover them.

        • Conor Cahill

          Why were corners ever supposed to be shorter than the receivers they have to defend? It makes no strategic sense to me. Other than the fact that they could be faster. I think Richard Sherman-esque receiver transfers are going to become much more common moving forward.

  • 619chargers4life

    A consistent pass rush will make any corner look like a pro bowler , but my vote goes to Verner .

    • Conor Cahill

      YES. Need some pressure up the middle. Freeney and Ingram with JJ playing a spot role will be a great trio of LBs on the edge. Nix or another FA NT would be huge.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson
        • 619chargers4life

          That dude looks to be a force in the coming seasons , not sure if it’s an instant upgrade but with some grooming time and spot duty he may fit just what we need , and considering he is projected in the 3rd I wouldn’t be mad at all if we picked him up in the 3rd.

  • Brett M

    One SS you forgot is Bernard Pollard- he’s a little old but the guy hits like a Mack Truck

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      YES!!!! he gets my vote

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

        Mine too.. by far!

      • Rob Base

        I second that vote!

    • frankdatank

      I like his game, but he is known to be a locker room problem!

  • RZ

    Addae has come a long way and will keep getting better,we still have Taylor and even Stuckey played well when he was in there,I would concentrate more on a Corner or NT and then Safety for the Defense. I believe Paul Soliai and Randy Starks are both FA from the Fins who would be a good fit for the NT position. But I hear you ya’ man. GO CHARGERS!

    • Conor Cahill

      There’s probably a reason Taylor wasn’t able to crack the active roster at all. Maybe injuries have held him back too far, but it doesn’t look like he will ever make much if an impact. (Jonas Mouton comes to my mind.)

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

    Isn’t Shields from Green Bay a free agent too? We could have had him last season, but signed Cox. Oops!!!!

    • Gunnar Martin

      I think he was a restricted free agent last season, and the Packers decided to bring him back. If I remember right, we never had the chance to pick him up. We did have the chance to get Keenan Lewis, though. That one kinda bums me out.

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

    I like Addae, and he was a nice surprise this season, compared to how grim the situation could have been. He is not the answer at strong safety, though. Trust me. Nor do I think Taylor is the answer, at this point. Let’s stop dicking around, and get some REAL talent next to Weddle, for God’s sake!

    • Conor Cahill

      Preach.

  • Nick Mansoor

    In my opinion, fixing the safety issue wont be as bad as fixing our cornerback issues. All we really need is a decent or above average to start at Safety, TJ Ward should be good enough and Addae would be a solid backup in certain playbooks. Cornerbacks on the other hand is going to be tough to deal with, we need someone quick, big and a ballhawk with hands, maybe two and one in the draft for development over the next few seasons. I dont see Shareece Wright being a good corner, he can be easily replaced in FA or maybe even the draft if were lucky. Other than that we should be fine, we just need a real pass rusher who wont break on us and our D is gonna be SOLID.