It's 1pm Pacific Time (or later) and NFL Free Agency has started. Actually, it already started since teams already knew which players would be free agents and who their agents are. However, by league rules nobody whose contract expired after the 2011 season could put pen to paper on a new contract until now.
Feel free to use the comments section as a place to make any comments about free agency. The staff at Bolts From The Blue will add new posts for each signing the Chargers make as the news becomes (mostly) official.
Here are some of the pre-deadline happenings of the day: The Chargers released LT Marcus McNeill as well as CB Dante Hughes, OLB Everette Brown, LB Nate Triplett and WR Bryan Walters. C Nick Hardwick was re-signed to a 3 year deal. OT Brandyn Dombrowski was offered a restricted free agent tender. TE Kory Sperry was not offered a restricted free agent tender and will become a free agent. Former Charger WR/ST Kassim Osgood was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Saints WR Marques Colston re-signed with New Orleans and Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall was traded to the Bears. Both of those WR affect the market for Vincent Jackson.
For a refresher on Chargers free agents, here's the list:
|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.
All contract data used was researched using Rotoworld.com.