Last night, in the BFTB After Dark post, Edward Moretti asked what other San Diego Chargers fans what they thought of Green Bay Packers' Linebacker Brad Jones. Apparently, Pro Football Focus liked him to fill the giant hole left in the center of the defense by Takeo Spikes. I decided to investigate, and here's what I found:
Free Agent Fix: Brad Jones
What the Chargers need is a guy who can play every down, won't cost a fortune, and will do a lot of the hard work to free up Donald Butler to make plays. In that regard they won't find a guy better than Jones on the open market. He flourished in a move to inside linebacker, grading as our 10th-highest inside linebacker. His cost is likely to ensure the Chargers can get a look at some of their younger guys at the spot, knowing they have a very reliable option if they don't pan out.
New Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco has already made some smart pickups with the signings of Chad Rinehart and Danny Woodhead (and PFF really likes the King Dunlap signing). Picking up Jones, who turns 27 in about a week and a half, would make Kid Dynamite's first free agency class seem awfully efficient and effective.
Last season, Jones rated higher than any Inside Linebacker on the Chargers' roster (yes, even Donald Butler) despite not starting until mid-season after injuries to D.J. Smith and Desmond Bishop. Bishop will be back for his spot in 2013, and Jones faces a competition with A.J. Hawk for the other ILB spot if he returns to Green Bay.
According to Brad Jones' agent, he has been contacted by at least eight NFL teams in regards to Jones. He's visited with the Tennessee Titans and I believe he's met with the New York Giants as well. However, seeing as how Telesco has managed to keep his meetings from leaking out so far, it wouldn't be surprising to find out that the Chargers were one of the teams bidding for Jones' services.