With the wealth of young talent the Chargers have on their roster, a lot of people like to talk about who might be leaving and who the Charger definitely can't let go. I thought it would be an interesting discussion to look at all the guys who are going to be free agents by the end of the 2010-11 season and then determine who the Chargers absolutely have to re-sign. For the purposes of this discussion, let's raise the stakes by saying we have to choose two players to keep and assume all the rest will leave. It probably won't shake out like that in real life, but it will bring some clarity to the discussion if it is that black and white of a decision. Also, for the sake of this discussion, let's ignore the complications that the CBA and the future labor problems might bring.
First of all, here are our high profile free agents over the next few years:
- Philip Rivers - 2010
- Shawne Merriman - 2010
- Vincent Jackson - 2010
- Marcus McNeill - 2010
- Darren Sproles - 2010
- Stephen Cooper - 2011
- Antonio Cromartie - 2011
- Antonio Gates - 2011
- Jamal Williams - 2011
Some things to think about: Do we load up with stars on one side of the ball? Building an Air Coryell Style offense and living with an Air Coryell style defense? Do you subscribe to AJ's belief that a defense needs to be a dictating pressure defense? And can we do this without Merriman?
So what do you think? Nothing fancy allowed, going into the 2011 season you get two of the above eight players, the other six are all gone. I've got an initial poll below with some of the more likely combos, if your preferred combo isn't there, note it in the comments and I'll circle back around and add it in to the poll.
Also, I want to hear why you think those two players are the most important to re-sign.