The Chargers came out of the gate, and made a flurry of moves to start the "offseason." They resigned Eric Weddle, and Jeromey Clary to big contracts, brought in veteran Takeo Spikes, and said goodbye to a number of players. I still feel very optimistic about this team, with Philip Rivers behind center, this team always has an opportunity to compete for a title. However, there are some moves that really had me scratching my head.
First, I will address the Eric Weddle situation. Many fans have been spewing venom towards the Chargers front office since the deal was announced. Sure it is pricey, five-years, $40 million, with $19 million guaranteed. However, Weddle is a solid safety, who would have recieved the same deal somewhere else. I have no problem with the deal at all. Clary is also a serviceable right tackle. Again, offense lineman are at a premium, and the Chargers need to keep Rivers upright, since they have $92 million tied into Philip Rivers.
My issue lies in the way the linebacker and wide receiver positions have been handled. The Chargers lost both of their inside linebackers from last year, with Kevin Burnett leaving for Miami, and the Chargers appear to have little interest in retaining Stephen Cooper. They brought in 33-year-old Takeo Spikes, who is a solid player, but he is long in the tooth. The Chargers like Jonas Mouton, a 2nd round pick out of Michigan, whom they took in this years draft. He is a physical player, but only had a 5th round grade going into the draft. The Bolts also have Donald Butler, a 3rd rounder in 2010 who tore his ACL in camp last year. They really need another veteran in this group.
At the wide receiver position, we can take comfort in knowing that Vincent Jackson will be in camp. He signed his franchise tender, and will be paid $10 million in 2011. However, the Chargers have shown no interest in bringing back Malcom Floyd. Floyd will be 30 this year, and averaged nearly 20 yards a catch last year. He is a great compliment to Jackson. Currently Floyd is still unemployed, but the Chargers are looking at another direction. The depth chart has veteran Patrick Crayton, Seyi Ajriotutu, Richard Goodman, and draft pick Vincent Brown. The Chargers really need another player here.
The Chargers also lost veteran running back Darren Sproles, who signed with New Orleans. I love Sproles, but the Chargers can give a big payday to a kick returner/3rd down back. I agree with this move.
I am pumped for Chargers football, but "The Lord of No Rings" has some more work to do. Currently, this roster does not stack up the competitive AFC.