After every season, teams start losing players to retirement, trades, and contract disputes among other things. Not all players that go are adequately replaced, and not all losses are negative either. We remember how much the loss of Marcus McNeill, healthy 2011 Jared Gaither, guard Kris Dielman, and wide receiver Vincent Jackson affected the team last season.
Let's take a look at all of the new Chargers players and grade the signings. The grades are mostly subjective, but my opinion is worth a lot. Sometimes. Their salaries are taken into serious consideration for the grades as is their rating on Pro Football Focus.
Contract: 2 years/$3.5 million
Danny Woodhead was the tenth highest rated runner last season on PFF, which should make you jump for joy. So go ahead and jump. The loss of Darren Sproles has clearly hurt the Chargers offense, and Woodhead offers pretty much everything Sproles did. A capable runner and excellent receiver, Woodhead will give the Chargers much more potency on third downs and much needed depth behind Ryan Mathews. Grade: A
Contract: 1 year/$1.75 Million
Overall, Rinehart has been a very good guard the last three years. A better than average guard, Rinehart could replace the departed Louis Vasquez and we'd mostly never know the difference. It's strange we've never heard of him getting any recognition for his pass blocking skills. He was listed as the 8th best available guard on PFF's list found here, so this signing was very good. Grade: B
Contract: 2 years/$4 million
The signing of a left tackle is huge. It was both a sign leading to the loss of Jared Gaither and an insurance policy if the Chargers plan to take a Left Tackle in the draft and none of the top three are available at pick 11. It's actually very smart.
Despite barely playing two seasons worth of games over his 4 year career, King has been capable at both tackle positions, and with experience could become a top pass blocking tackle. He's graded out well overall by PFF's standards, comparable to Sebastian Vollmer of New England, though below average as a run blocker and he has an injury history. That history is less than frightening, though.
He could, in theory, replace Jeromey Clary as well if the Chargers get a Tackle in the draft. He could also end up as a bench rider if he doesn't get the start. Some experts aren't convinced he can be a mainstay at tackle, but overall Dunlap being a Charger provides insurance and potential upside. Grade: B+
Contract: 4 years/$20 million
With Antoine Cason off to Arizona, the Chargers needed immediate help in the secondary. Faster, and better in both coverage and run support (that's not saying much) Derek Cox is an immediate upgrade. The great news is that Cox has actually gotten better and better each year. Assuming a reasonable improvement from last year, he'll be a solid corner and possibly more with Eric Weddle backing him up. Grade: B-
Contract: 3 years/$5.3 million
A barely average Tight End all around, Phillips is purely a depth signing to replace the aging Randy McMichael. He'll probably be in mostly to run and pass block, but who knows if and how he'll improve as a member of the Chargers. He has a career stat sheet on par with a half season of Antonio Gates last year. However, his value is for depth, which is certainly needed. Grade: C
Ohrnberger doesn't have much experience, so it's very hard to evaluate him. More than likely, he'll be used for depth behind the slew of centers on the team. He's had a few good moments and a few bad ones as well as a pass blocker, but there's nothing special about this signing. Grade: D+
So these are the new faces on the San Diego Chargers Roster. What do you think? Which signings were best and which ones were reaches? Decide in the comment section below.