The San Diego Chargers should look at the possibilities at center in free agency
With the retirement of Nick Hardwick, the San Diego Chargers need to find someone that can fill that hole that he has left up front. Will it be the youngster Chris Watt? Not sure if the team wanted to throw him in the fire as soon as they did. At this point, he looks like the only option to be the starter.
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Watt never played center while he was with Notre Dame and only started snapping the ball when he entered the Chargers facility. He took a couple of starts at the position last season with the team, but he was hurt and didn’t finish the season. Did he do enough to take the starting job this offseason?
The team has to consider adding a free agent center or a free agent tackle to add to the roster. King Dunlap has to be at the top of the priority list, but then the center and right tackle spots have to be addressed. If the team brings in a center, then Watt can slide over to play the left guard position. He is much more comfortable at that position. Dunlap can play left tackle and Fluker can slide over to right guard.
The team will have to pay a center or a tackle to get the job done and then draft for the other opening up front. I like the centers coming out of the draft, but there are some interesting possibilities that will be free agents this offseason.
The top 2 free agent centers are very familiar with the division and are young. Stefen Wisniewski of the Oakland Raiders and Rodney Hudson of the Kansas City Chiefs were both taken in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft and will be available for teams when free agency opens up. Either would be a great addition for the Chargers.
If the team were to add a center in free agency, then they could focus on adding a player to the right side of the line through the draft. They could go with a guard or a tackle to play on the right side since Fluker has the flexibility to go t oeither position. The team needs to rebuild the offensive line. Picking up a solid player in free agency would be a good place to start.
The top salary for a center in the league belongs to Maurkice Pouncey with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He averages $8.8 million per year. Nick Hardwick made $4.4 million in his final year in the league with the Chargers. The potential free agents will likely be looking to make around $6 million per season on their new deals.
Should the Chagers make that move?
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