2012 Chargers re-load

Chargers reload 2012

The Chargers are off to a horrible start this off season, and reading many fans posts and comments, the chance to hoist a Lombardi in San Diego if growing less and less.
There are going to be many holes in the offense and defense, and impact players are needed. Badly.
So lets cut right to the chase and see what can be done to fill them.

Cut the fat:

It looks like the Chargers are serious about cutting big salary tags, and having a shot in free agency for a change.

Here is a look at 2011 Chargers that are gone, or most likeley will be gone soon, and what kind of money they will free up.

Vincent Jackson $ 11,325,000
Marcus McNeill $ 10,298,500
Luis Castillo $ 6,908,000
Kris Dielman $ 6,200,000
Patrick Crayton $ 2,350,000
Bob Sanders $ 2,000,000
Mike Tolbert $ 1,835,000
Travis Laboy $ 1,200,000
Antonio Garay $640,000

What is salvageable and at what price?

Mike Tolbert - if he would play for 3 million per year. If not, Michael Bush at around the same.

Vincent Jackson -
He said he'd give the Bolts the hometown discount. He's good friends with Philip Rivers, knows the system. Has a pro bowl TE to take the heat off, and a legitimate #2 receiver. If the Bolts put up a 5 year 50 million dollar contract, he stays.

Antonio Garay made $ 640,000 salary in 2011. I think the Chargers and Garay could come to terms with 3 million a year. If not in San Diego, Garay will make that but not much more elsewhere.

Nick Hardwick made 4,508,333. I think he and the Chargers feel comfortable with a new contract with somewhere around that price. I dont think he would do too much better on the market, nor would the Chargers in replacing him.

Jared Gaither-

Bigger, faster, stronger, and younger than McNeill, and much cheaper. McNeill has years of experience and is a pro bowler which drove the price tag just a little too high. Gaither played great for 5 games. This is a real gamble, but realistically, one the Chargers have to take. Gaither gets a contract at around 8 mil/year, McNeill gets cut. Chargers have three mil left.

So lets take a realistic look at what will be done with that money.

Mario Williams? I dont think so. He made 15,150,000 dollars in 2011, and would roll his eyes at what the Chargers would probably offer. 16,000,000 in SD is not going to happen for anybody except Rivers.

LaRon Landry- $5,650,000 annually? forget seeing him in Bolts.

Whats on the market for the Chargers? In their price range?

The secondary has been problematic for the Chargers: Quentin Jammer may be a little too old at corner, and the backups in the secondary, Shareece Wright and Marcus Gilchrist might be a little too young . Heres an interesting scenario.

Bring in DB/CB Eric Wright and mix it up a little bit. He's 26, relatively cheap 1,500,000/yr.
A good cover corner, had 4 int's and 67 tackles last season. This could move Jammer to SS. He'd have a solid backup in Stuckey and Gilchrist and Wright could cover the corner opposite Cason.


Pierre Garcon, Eddie Royal or Robert Meacham could very well end up in San Diego, but my money is with Vincent Jackson staying.

Running Back-
Mike Tolbert
Michael Bush
Peyton Hillis
draft pick

Defensive Ends:

Not too much in free agency, strong draft class. My guess is the first round pick is spent here.

Although I could see them taking a shot at the Eagles Antonio Dixon, who plays well, and at 480,000 dollars based salary, he could get a significant raise in San Diego.

Of course the draft will be greatly affected by who is added and lost in free agency, but given the knowledge we have now, I can see this pretty clearly happening.

Pick # Player position ht/wt college projected round

18 Courtney Upshaw , OLB , 6'2" 272 , Alabama , 1 ( middle)

if unavailable

Nick Perry , DE , 6'3" 271 , USC 1 ( middle)

A strong defensive play maker/ game changer is exactly what the Chargers have been searching for, and if either of these guys are on the board, the Chargers will pull the trigger.

Pick # , Player , ,position ht/wt .college .projected round

49 LeMicheal James RB , 5'8 194 ' Oregon (Late 2nd)

Doug Martin is also projected in the second round. However, I believe the shifty, smaller, flashy type of RB would work much better as a change of pace rather than a mirror image of Ryan Mathews, and also might remind us of Sproles a bit.

Pick # , Player , ,position ht/wt .college .projected round

79 Tommy Streeter , WR , , 6'5 " 220 , Miami .(Late 4th )

This guy has Charger written all over him. At 6'5" 220 Lbs he is a big athletic target that will most likely blow up as a pro. Still a bit unproven, he did have a breakout year
in 2011 (jr) .

In 12 games he had 46 rec. for 811 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Projected to go in the 4th, I would full expect the Chargers to jump on this pick with # 79 in the 3rd. Of course retaining V-Jax at a hometown discount would be great, but things dont always work out as planned.

Pick # , Player , ,position ht/wt .college .projected round

110 Kellen Moore . QB 6'0" 190 Lbs . Boise state Mid 6th

The critics are just bashing this guy to pieces. Left handed, small, doesn't have a big arm, doesn't play big schools.
I challenge those same critics to look at the record books. Nearly every high school QB record for Washington has the name Moore on it. Nearly every College
record for passing has the name Moore on it , including " winning est college QB " ever. Started all 4 years at Boise and is (8-0) against the " BIG SEC" schools.
This could be the steal of the draft, and the face of a franchise some day. Also, he'd be about 1.5 mil a year cheaper and 13 years younger than Billy Volek.

Pick # , Player , ,position ht/wt .college .projected round

141 Duke Ihenacho SS 6'1" 213 San Jose state . Mid 6th

A good grab in the later rounds , Ihenacho can definitely add depth, speed, and be a key contributor on special teams.
Based on team needs, SS might be low. Aside from Harrison Smith , which I really doubt the Chargers will move up to get in the 2nd round,
my money is on Darrell Stuckey to be the bolts best option. If he moves into the starter role I'd be fine with it.

Pick # , Player , ,position ht/wt .college .projected round

172 Josh Chichester TE 6'7" 240 lbs Louisville 7th/FA

I think an important free agent to retain is Randy McMichael, based on Gates health issues, McMichael has proven to be a very valuable backup. However, they are both
on the wrong side of 30, and getting a young tight end in the game is pretty essential for the Bolts to do sooner rather than later.
Chichester is the perfect guy for the job. He looks like a longer , leaner younger Gates. He's a little raw, but productive. Averaging 14.2 yards per catch at Louisville.
I think he's definitely worth the late pick for the Bolts. He can catch, and block, he's a huge target for Rivers at 6'7", and a couple years under the tutelage of Gates he could be a monster. More importantly, he'd be available at 172.

I know, I know. A.J Smith said his big priority this off season will be shoring up the offensive line and protecting Rivers. I feel that much of the cap space getting cleared up just may do that. However, I believe this will be addressed within free agency. Here is what I foresee as the Chargers start the season:


LT- Jared Gaither
LG-Scott Mruczkowski
C- NIck Hardwick
RG- Louis Vasquez
RT- Stephen Schilling


Colin Baxter, Tyronne Green , Brandon Dombrowki, Jeromy Clary

Surprise- The Chargers will sign an established FA to bolster the O-Line.

Clearing salary space:

53 man roster:


Philip Rivers
Billy Volek
Kellen Moore


Ryan Mathews
Michael Bush
LaMichael James

Jacob Hester


Vincent Jackson
Malcom Floyd
Vincent Brown
Richard Goodman
Tommy Streeter

Antonio Gates
Randy McMichael
Josh Chichester

Offensive Linemen:

LT- Jared Gaither
LG-Scott Mruczkowski
C- NIck Hardwick
RG- Louis Vasquez
RT- Stephen Schilling
Colin Baxter
Tyronne Green
Brandon Dombrowki
Jeromy Clary

Defensive Linemen:

Corey Liuget
Antonio Garay
Cam Thomas
Vaughn Martin
Jacques Cesaire
Tommie Harris
Antonio Dixon

Outside Linebackers

Cortney Upshaw
Shaun Philips
Antwan Barnes
Larry English

Inside Linebackers

Donald Butler
Takeo Spikes
Andrew Gachkar
Jonas Mouton
Darryl Gamble


FS -
Eric Weddle
Paul Oliver

Darrell Stuckey
Duke Ienhacho


Quentin Jammer
Antoine Cason
Marcus Gilchrist
Shareece Wright


Nate Kaeding

Punter :
Mike Scifres

Long Snapper:
Mike Windt

It's pretty clear that the Chargers must at least make the playoffs for A.J Smith and Norv Turner to keep their jobs. So, their backs are to the wall. I do look for them to take some chances and cut some fat. They don't have the luxury of rebuilding. They need success now. So look for additions of mid priced immediate impact players, not the one big name superstar, and a bunch of no names.

I believe that they would be able to afford the roster listed above and make a legitimate shot at getting back to the top of the AFC West, and deep into the playoffs, its all or nothing this year, that's the mindset!

This FanPost was written by a member of the Bolts From The Blue community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bolts From The Blue editors or SB Nation.

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