Offseason Overview: Health a Key for a Big Chargers Season

Gates makes a great grab

Franchise Player: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

• RB Tyronne Gross (not tendered as ERFA).

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• OT L.J. Shelton: FA Dolphins; terms unknown.

• LB Derek Smith: FA 49ers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• OT Jeromey Clary: ERFA; terms unknown.

• WR Malcom Floyd: ERFA; terms unknown.

• CB Cletis Gordon: ERFA; terms unknown.

• CB Steve Gregory: ERFA; terms unknown.

• LB Marques Harris: RFA; tendered at $1.47M; terms unknown.

• DT Brandon McKinney: ERFA; terms unknown.

• G Scott Mruczkowski: Potential RFA; 3 yrs, terms unknown.

• QB Billy Volek: UFA; $9M/3 yrs, $3M SB.

PLAYERS LOST

• CB Drayton Florence: UFA Jaguars; $36M/6 yrs, $12M SB.

• S Marlon McCree (released).

• FB Lorenzo Neal (released).

• OT Shane Olivea (released).

• K Dave Rayner: Not tendered as RFA/Dolphins; terms unknown.

• RB Michael Turner: UFA Falcons; $34.5M/6 yrs, $15M guaranteed.

Many people pegged the Chargers as the AFC Super Bowl team last season, and while they did make it to the AFC Title game, they clearly did not play as well as many thought they would. An 11-5 record did not come easy, and by the time the playoffs rolled around, they were hit hard by the injury bug that in the title game forced them to go with a one legged QB, a hurt franchise back, and a TE that was well below 100 percent. The team vows to learn from the mistakes of 2007, and feel that if they are healthy for the whole year, are as good as any team in the league. It will be hard to bet against them with the talent they have.

The team did little on the free agent market, and other than releasing players such as S Marlon McCree, FB Lorenzo Neal and OT Shan Olivea, the biggest loss will be backup RB Michael Turner. They did acquire OT L.J. Shelton from Miami, and LB Derek Smith who was released from the 49’ers. If the big three of Phillip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates are close to 100 percent, there is no reason the Chargers are not a 10-12 win team. They do need to be more focused in tight spots, and should start the season fast with home games vs the Panthers, at Denver and vs the Jets at home.

Offseason Grade to Date: B


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