clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Could Bob Sanders Land on the Chargers?

I know this question is coming to my inbox, so I might as well tackle it now. Bob Sanders, one of the top 5 defensive players in the league when healthy (which is almost never), has been released by the Indianapolis Colts. He was scheduled to make a ton of money, and they're done waiting for him to finally be healthy. The question now becomes...what will Bob look for in his next team?

Obviously, the Chargers have a need as SS. Sanders would walk in and compete for a starting job on a winning team, playing next to another great Safety. If he could find a way to stay healthy, not only would he change his legacy but he'd also be able to stick it to the Colts regularly (either in the regular season, playoffs or both). That latter part is important, because if he's out for revenge....why not go to the team that already has Peyton Manning's number?

So, would the Chargers be interested? Well, for the right price who wouldn't be? What's probably in Bob's best interest (by the way, ever since I found out his real name is Demond I've found it difficult to refer to him as "Bob") is to sign a cheap two year deal with a contender that needs a SS, and then prove to the league (and himself) that he can stay healthy. If he can't after that, perhaps it's best to hang them up.

If he agrees, the likeliest of landing spots is probably with the Chargers. Everyone else is pretty much set at both Safety spots. The downside, as far as A.J. Smith is concerned, is the disruption to the team (and the money wasted) another one or two injury-plagued seasons could cause. Not to mention, at 5'8" Sanders isn't exactly going to help on covering TEs (usually the task of the SS in the Chargers 3-4 defense).

However, it seems like a marriage that could work. The two times Sanders has managed to play more than 6 regular season games (yes seriously), he's finished as both an All-Pro and a Pro Bowler. In 2007, the second of his "full seasons", he won Defensive Player of the Year honors. Even in 2006, when he played only 4 games for a Colts team that struggled to make the playoffs, you could argue that his return in the playoffs is what turned them team around and carried them to a Super Bowl victory.

Looking at guys like Antonio Garay, Kevin Burnett and Travis Johnson, you could make a point that the Chargers occasionally like to take a chance on talented players with injury problems in their past (seemed to work out well with those three). With Bob Sanders (potential Pro Bowler) and Darrell Stuckey (drafted last year as "the future at SS") at Strong Safety, and Steve Gregory around as insurance, this would definitely free up the Chargers in the NFL Draft to pick a WR, DE, or pass-rushing OLB.

If Sanders is more interested in sticking with a team that plays the Tampa 2 defense that he was so successful playing in in Indianapolis (and to a certain extent, Iowa), his options broaden. Teams like the Lions, Vikings, Bears and Buccaneers are all worth looking at for him, and they'll probably contact him to see if they can work something out. However, none of them offer the same mix of contender, reputable training staff, great FS and open starting SS spot that the Chargers do.