The Chargers are less than two weeks away from the start of training camp and the energy is through the roof as the start of a new football season is drawing nearer everyday.
The roster looks way more complete. The starters heading into the 2016 year look very promising, but there are just a few more holes left on this roster that should be addressed before the start of camp.
The big question here is, who is still left in free agency? Surprisingly, a number of veteran names pop up. There are not too many young guys, but a veteran presence is always key in assisting the younger players. Here is a list of some names our Bolts could potentially use to fill in those holes on the roster.
1) Leon Hall
Oh the great Leon Hall, one of the best defenders I’ve watched growing up and yes, he is still a free agent. Hall hasn’t been spectacular as he always has in the past. Injury and being buried by younger guys on the depth chart didn’t help his case one bit. But Hall definitely has some left in the tank.
A lot of you are probably scratching your heads and cursing my name as you are reading this… “Why would we need another cornerback Nick? We have Verrett, Flowers and Hayward.” Here is the plot twist my friends: I say sign him as a safety. Before Hall was let go by the Bengals, he was being lined up as a safety in practice with the team and actually did play as a safety a couple times in primetime. And he is all for the idea of playing for safety, too. I am not too confident with our safeties as we speak. We have almost no depth behind Jahleel Addae, so why not sign Hall to rotate with him? It would be an excellent “Plan B”. Addae is great at run formations but does struggle in the passing game. If Hall could play better in passing scenarios, they could rotate the two around.
The idea of Hall is a good one, but is it necessary? As far as depth goes, yes. But there is a great chance one of the young guys we currently have signed could emerge as a solid backup for Addae since there is no real competition. Signing Hall makes total sense, and could serve the team as insurance in the events of lack of playmaking ability or even injury.
2) Louis Vasquez
I feel like this team needs one more guard on the offensive line. We have Orlando Franklin, D.J. Fluker, Chris Watt and possibly Matt Slauson as our top guys to play at guard. Watt isn’t that great of an idea so far. He was drafted as a guard, but we never really used him as that type of player. Instead, we plugged him in at center. Watt struggled heavily at that position, so the Chargers brought in Slauson and third-round pick Max Tuerk as a solution. This year, it looks like Watt will be back at playing guard again. Will he even play better if he does get time on the field? Who knows, but it is a gamble.
Bringing in Vasquez could provide the team with much better depth behind our current starters, and it will give Fluker a better chance at starting as a tackle for this team (which is his natural position). It all makes better sense and the line will definitely benefit in case of the emergence of an injury. Plus, he played for the Chargers in the past, so he knows how to wok with Philip Rivers to help keep him upright. Things make total sense with this move.
3) Arian Foster
Is Arian Foster still the Pro Bowl-level back he was a few seasons ago? Most likely not. But he could definitely be used as a veteran presence for the running backs and could help pitch in in case of an injury. The pick doesn’t make too much sense here since we have three pretty good backs already, but it is a sexy pick up for sure. And it will definitely give this squad a much more meaner look to it.
I would much rather have Foster in the fourth string RB position, and the team did carry more than four backs in the past, so it could happen. Ken Whisenhunt likes carrying more than three backs, so it is a possibility that we will have four on the final roster (with the exception of a fullback). He does have some left in the tank, but we can’t use him too often since Foster has been injury prone the past few years, so he could be used as a backup for the third down, or even just a power/redzone threat back for short yardage situations. I say its worth a shot. It’s not too necessary at this point to sign this guy, but it would be pretty cool to see.
4) Anquan Boldin
I have called out Anquan Boldin’s name in the past and I’m still sticking to it. We could definitely use Boldin on this team, even with our current receivers. Dontrelle Inman looks like he is being buried on the depth chart, and Stevie Johnson hasn’t really panned out… yet. Plus, the emergence of Tyrell Williams and Javontee Herndon is on the rise.
I would plug in Boldin to the roster in a heartbeat. He will definitely battle for the third or fourth string positions and could give a run for the other guys’ money. Yes, it would back up the depth chart, but our wide receivers would be STACKED if we signed him, and Rivers loves sharing the ball with everyone. It could work out, but rumors have it that he is asking for a bit too much money. If that’s the case, I say drop out. But if the price is right, it couldn’t hurt, right?
5) DeMeco Ryans
Our depth behind Manti Te’o and Denzel Perryman is a concern to me. We do have a rookie in Joshua Perry, but that is a pretty big gamble in my opinion since he has no experience in the big leagues. Other than Perry, we have Nick Dzubnar. He is a solid backup but that’s pretty much all we have listed at the moment other than the undrafted rookies who will also be fighting for a roster spot.
I like the idea of signing DeMeco Ryans as a backup behind Te’o and Perryman. He could definitely help teach the middle linebackers a thing or two and will serve as a solid backup for certain plays and packages. He does have some injury concerns, but I feel that he would be fine. We shouldn’t use him as a starter, so he will definitely have limited snaps on the field, keeping his fatigue a bit more fresher than the rest of the squad. This move does make total sense as it will help the depth for sure, so it could be a positive move for the Bolts. Why not?
If we sign these players, we would have much better depth heading into camp and preseason. Plus, it will be a much more competitive atmosphere for the other players on the field, so it will definitely ignite some fire on the practice field. Heck, some of these guys could be starters in the case of injury, which has been a consistent problem for the Chargers as of late.
How confident are you guys with our roster as it is? Who do you like that’s still available in free agency? Let’s hear your thoughts! Training camp is almost here guys and, as always, Bolt Up!