San Diego Chargers Daily Links: March 14, 2012

Chargers sign Hardwick to 3-year deal - Michael Gehlken
Center Nick Hardwick signed a three-year, $13.5-million contract with the team Tuesday, just hours before he was set to become an unrestricted free agent. The move ensures the Bolts won't lose their most experienced veteran in the trenches.

It's official: Jackson a Tampa Bay Buccaneer - Kevin Acee
The Chargers had hoped to retain Jackson and continued speaking with his agent, but they had long seemed resigned to the fact they could not and would not compete for his services because the price would be too high.

Chargers have interest in Meachem, Robinson - Michael Gehlken
With the Chargers' Pro Bowl wide receiver likely headed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Bolts reached out and inquired Tuesday about such free agents as Robert Meachem and Laurent Robinson.

Chargers not expected to chase stars in free agency - Michael Gehlken
Multiple sources said Monday they don’t expect the Bolts to make a true run at any big names. Rather, the team sees breadth at various spots in free agency and prefers value over blockbusters to solidify the overall roster.

Free-agency primer: Mario Williams leads an interesting defensive class - Doug Farrar
Houston Texans defensive end/outside linebacker Mario Williams is the rock star of this year's defensive free-agent class, but that doesn't mean that there aren't many other intriguing options at all positions for teams feeling the need to improve their defenses beyond the draft.

Free-agency primer: Manning, Nicks among the big offensive options - Doug Farrar
Unlike some free-agent classes that feature one huge name and a bunch of lesser lights, the 2012 class features one big haul on each side of the ball. Obviously, Peyton Manning is the big name on offense, and we have Mario Williams as the main man on defense. By position, here's a look at the most important names to know once the new league year kicks in

Fixing the roster — outside linebacker - Scott Bair
The Chargers badly need an outside pass rusher to play opposite Shaun Phillips. Larry English was supposed to be that guy, but injuries and ineffectiveness have turned the 2009 first-round draft pick into a presumptive bust. The Chargers must upgrade at this position.

Billick on Tebow’s future: "They don’t want him, why should I?" - Mike Florio
"The Denver Broncos who in a very unique way energized their fan base, the league as a whole. Tebowmania. Found themselves in the playoffs and even won a playoff game with Tim Tebow," Billick said. "And they don’t want him, why should I?"

Chargers to retain two special teamers - Michael Gehlken
The team has informed kick returner Richard Goodman and long snapper Mike Windt they will be retained as exclusive rights free agents.

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