After the NFL Playoffs are finished and the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is hammered out, the San Diego Chargers will go back to work rebuilding their roster. This is a big offseason for the franchise. Not only did they miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2005 season, but they also have a number of impending free agents. Some of you may have seen a list here or there of who is about to test the free agent waters or perhaps read an article here or there about this player or that player needed to be franchised or re-signed or whatever. What I wanted to put together was a comprehensive list of every player employed by the Chargers, when their current contract runs out and what type of free agency they'll be eligible for at the end of that contract. You can see that list after the jump.
Some important things to keep in mind about this coming offseason. Because there is no Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and the owners, there is some uncertainty about certain players' free agent status. This past offseason, players were eligible for unrestricted free agency after 6 seasons of NFL service time. In the season before that, it was only 4 seasons to be eligible. Some experts have weighed in on what the actual number will be after a new CBA, but I don't want to assume anything. So, in my free agency table, I've listed the number of seasons that the player will have accrued at the end of their contract if it's greater than 2 or less than 6. Just remember that if, for example, the new CBA says only 4 seasons are needed, then the players listed whose contracts end after 4 seasons will be unrestricted free agents.
|Exclusive Rights Free Agent||E||Player can only sign with previous club unless they are no tendered an offer.|
|Restricted Free Agent||R3, R4, R5||Player can be tendered an offer by previous club. That tender will determine the amount of compensation (draft picks) required for another team to sign the player. The number listed is the number of seasons accrued by the player. See the intro for the importance of this number.
|Unrestricted Free Agent||U||Player is free to sign with any other team without compensation to the previous club. The only exception occurs if the franchise tag is placed on the player.|
|First||Last||Position||FA Year||FA Type|