Nov 25, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers guard Louis Vasquez (65) warms-up before a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
To say that the Chargers have a lot of glaring holes going into the 2013 season is a drastic understatement. We’ve all talked ad nauseum about the first priority being the need to solidify the offensive line.
Heck, it might even need a complete overhaul.
Veteran center Nick Hardwick let it be known during the 2012 offseason that he was possibly considering retirement. I refuse to act like it’s a given that Hardwick will be back. I truly hope that he is for many reasons.
It is sounding like Jared Gaither will be cut and the team will move on from Big Lazy. Big waste of money is more like it.
The Tyronne Green experiment failed miserably. He proved that he was more than inadequate in both run and pass blocking.
Everyone’s favorite whipping boy, Jeromey Clary, might have finally worn out his welcome as well. I have zero doubt that 99% of the fanbase would be more than happy to show him the door.
That leaves us with Louis Vasquez. Vasquez is set to be a free agent at the beginning of the 2013 league year. I can’t help but think that the uncertainty at the General Manager position is the only reason that there has been no movement to re-sign the veteran out of Texas Tech.
Having come from a spread, passing offense in college, Vasquez has had to work dilligently to improve his run blocking. He has done just that. Aside from Hardwick, Vasquez is easily our best offensive lineman.
In my opinion, it is imperative that he is re-signed as soon as possible. I don’t believe that the team should franchise him in a final effort to retain him, but I would have no problem if the team did so in an effort to ensure that they had the only chance to sign him long term.
As Ernie Padaon pointed out in a recent article, we really don’t have a player that is worthy of the franchise tag. The numbers were released the other day and I agree that there isn’t a player on our roster that is worth franchise tag money.
As I already stated, I would be in favor of the team using the tag to stop them from getting in a bidding war for the services of Vasquez in 2013. Once he signed the tag, the Chargers could then attempt to work out a long term deal and have it done prior to the deadline just prior to the beginning of the season.
Continuity amongst the offensive lineman is paramount in the success of an offense in the NFL. The fact that we most likely will only have two players that have lined up together while protecting Philip Rivers is a bit scary.
But having two is far better than having only one or none.
The Bolts need to make re-signing Louis Vasquez a priority in the early parts of the offseason.
Thanks a lot for reading.