Chargers to dangle CB Cromartie to try and upgrade the run game

The Chargers were unable to take advantage of another AFC West title in 2009, and with it there’s no doubt that there will be a new look for the Bolts in 2010. With free agency looming, as well as the NFL Draft in April, there’s word now that the Chargers are looking to upgrade their backfield.

The big news of course is that it looks as if LaDainian Tomlinson will not be back with the Chargers in 2010. His career has been on the downswing for the past three seasons, and even when he was the best back in the league, he was not able to do enough to get the team over the top.

Then there is Darren Sproles, who was paid a lot of money last year as the teams franchise player, but still couldn’t take the feature back from L.T. and ran for just 343 yards and caught 45 passes for 497 yards and scored 7 touchdowns. It looks as if the team simply isn’t going to be able to count on him to be the teams feature back anytime soon.

So what does the club do? The latest word is that the club will use cornerback Antonio Cromartie in some sort of deal to acquire a feature back. One team that has some backs is the Dallas Cowboys, who have Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. But they really don’t need a corner, and it doesn’t make sense to make that move if your Dallas.

As for Cromartie, he is a four-year starter, a former first-round draft pick and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2007 when he intercepted 10 passes. Sources have said he has fallen out of favor with the Chargers, who also have a pair of corners in Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason who were first-round picks.

So the team could also look to free agency, and one back they may look at is Steelers running back Willie Parker. He isn’t a starter in Pittsburgh anymore with Rashard Mendenhall there, but still has injury issues to deal with, and it will be interesting to see if he can overcome that to shine again.

Some say that the Chargers may be willing to trade Cromartie for a draft choice that could give them more flexibility to select at least one running back in this year’s draft, sources said. Whatever they do, upgrading the run game is simply a must if the Chargers are ever going to make it to the next level.

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