2012 Chargers Offseason: Free Agents

With yesterday's Super Bowl, the 2011 season is basically wrapped up. However, the 2012 season doesn't start until March 13. They call that the start of the new league year and it also represents the date when free agents are free to sign with any team. So, why start talking about free agents over a month before? Well, the teams can use this month to re-sign potential free agents or even players that will go into 2012 with only 1 year remaining on their contracts. There's also the potential for a franchise tag, which I discussed a few weeks ago.

The San Diego Chargers will go into this 2012 offseason with two former Pro Bowlers, a special teams captain and a player that scored 7 of the team's 41 touchdowns heading to free agency. Vincent Jackson, Nick Hardwick, Jacob Hester and Mike Tolbert head the list of Chargers looking for new contracts. Over the next few weeks we'll discuss the merits of keeping some of the players. The complete list is show below:

Player Position FA Year FA Type
Curtis Brinkley RB 2012 R
Brandyn Dombrowski T 2012 R
Kory Sperry TE 2012 R
Stephen Cooper ILB 2012 U
Patrick Crayton WR 2012 U
Na'il Diggs ILB 2012 U
Jared Gaither OT 2012 U
Antonio Garay DT 2012 U
Steve Gregory S 2012 U
Nick Hardwick C 2012 U
Tommie Harris DT 2012 U
Jacob Hester FB 2012 U
Vincent Jackson WR 2012 U
Randy McMichael TE 2012 U
Tony Moll OG 2012 U
Scott Mruczkowski C 2012 U
Paul Oliver S 2012 U
Mike Tolbert RB 2012 U

Key
FA Status Abbreviation Description
Exclusive Rights Free Agent E Player can only sign with previous club unless they are not tendered an offer.
Restricted Free Agent R 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. For the 2011 offseason, these players are essentially treated like Exclusive Rights Free Agents. They are not able to sign with other teams and must either accept their tender or hold out
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.

After the jump you can see when the rest of the Chargers' contracts expire.

The 2013 FA Year players are probably the most interesting of the remaining players on this list. Some of these players the Chargers will let walk and therefore need to think about drafting their replacements. Others might be guys who signed 2 year deals last offseason, but didn't meet expectations and could be cut early in the offseason and become free agents earlier than expected. I mentioned the merits of cutting or keeping some of these players in a recent article.

Player Position FA Year FA Type
Richard Goodman WR 2012 E
Mike Windt LS 2012 E
Nick Polk S 2013 E
Nate Triplett LB 2013 E
Bryan Walters WR 2013 E
Antwan Barnes OLB 2013 U
Everette Brown OLB 2013 U
Jacques Cesaire DE 2013 U
Antoine Cason CB 2013 U
Kris Dielman LG 2013 U
Malcom Floyd WR 2013 U
Tyronne Green G 2013 U
Dante Hughes CB 2013 U
Quentin Jammer CB 2013 U
Nate Kaeding K 2013 U
Travis LaBoy OLB 2013 U
Vaughn Martin DE 2013 U
Nick Novak K 2013 U
Shaun Phillips OLB 2013 U
Louis Vasquez RG 2013 U
Billy Volek QB 2013 U
Colin Baxter C 2014 R
Bront Bird ILB 2014 R
Darryl Gamble OLB 2014 R
Donald Butler ILB 2014 U
Luis Castillo DE 2014 U
Larry English OLB 2014 U
Takeo Spikes ILB 2014 U
Darrell Stuckey S 2014 U
Cam Thomas DT 2014 U
Vincent Brown WR 2015 U
Jeromey Clary T 2015 U
Andrew Gachkar ILB 2015 U
Marcus Gilchrist CB 2015 U
Corey Liuget DE 2015 U
Ryan Mathews RB 2015 U
Stephen Schilling OG 2015 U
Shareece Wright CB 2015 U
Antonio Gates TE 2016 U
Marcus McNeill LT 2016 U
Philip Rivers QB 2016 U
Eric Weddle S 2016 U
Mike Scifres P 2017 U

All contract data used was researched using Rotoworld.com.

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