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San Diego Chargers Daily Links: February 28, 2012

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VIDEO: One Man's Mission To Pet All 185 Breeds At The Westminster Dog Show - Matt Ufford
SB Nation's Matt Ufford went to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show with a simple, impossible goal: pet each of the 185 breeds over two days. He failed -- and had entirely too much fun doing so.

Chargers can't afford to lose another RB - Bill Williamson
Denver and Kansas City could be among the several teams to make a play for Tolbert. I know Ryan Mathews is the Chargers’ starter and he has showed great signs of coming on, but I don’t think the Chargers can let Tolbert walk.

Chargers Free Agency: Luis Castillo Reportedly On His Way Out - Jeremiah Oshan
Prior to missing most of the 2011 season, Castillo had been a consistent force for the Chargers. Since being picked with the No. 28 pick of the 2005 draft. He had started at least 14 games in four of his six previous seasons, including each of the past three. He had signed a contract extension prior to the 2008 season and has three years remaining on that deal that had already paid him $27.3 million.

Finhead's Mock Draft: Version 8 - Finhead83
The Chargers could also use David DeCastro, but the prospect of Courtney Upshaw is just too much for them to pass up. The Chargers need a lot of help at OLB as Larry English just hasn't developed as San Diego has hoped.

Ranking the 2012 Free Agents: Safeties - Nathan Jahnke
For the last three years, Branch has been starting at safety for Oakland and has seen his play evolve. He emerged as the highest-rated safety in terms of run defense in the league this past year thanks to positive run D ratings in each of the last 10 games of the season. In 2010, his coverage skills were a liability, but all of his metrics improved in 2011. Given his combination of youth, three years of starting experience, and potential, he was clearly the best choice to top this list. His pass rush rating greatly hurt his overall rating in 2011, but he led safeties in that department the year before.

Offensive Line: Still the Foundation? - Ben Stockwell
All this week we’ve been running features on the most under appreciated starters on an NFL team, the offensive linemen. The old adage goes that you win games in the trenches and that any team–in order to be successful–needs to build from the inside out. So the question is, is that still the case in the modern NFL?

Miami DT may interest Chiefs, Chargers - Bill Williamson
Miami’s Paul Soliai is headed to free agency and I think both the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers will be interested in him. There will be a lot of interest in Soliai, but I wouldn’t be shocked if both the Chiefs and the Chargers make big plays for him.

San Diego Chargers Planning to Release DE Luis Castillo - John Gennaro
So, not only is this a "make or break" year for Norv Turner and A.J. Smith, but there is seemingly no part of this team that isn't facing the possibility of overhaul this offseason. One thing is for sure, Turner and Smith are "trimming the fat" off of this roster for a reason. They're going to have an awful lot of money to work with, a draft full of cheap rookies (thank you, rookie wage scale) and not a ton of interest in working out extensions for players already under contract.

Dre Kirkpatrick getting AFC West interest - Bill Williamson
Yet, it is fairly interesting that Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said two of the five teams that interviewed him at the NFL combine were San Diego and Oakland. He is expected to go in the 15-20 range. The Chargers, who pick at No. 18, have other needs and the Raiders don’t have a pick until the fifth round, although they are expected to get a compensatory pick at the end of the third round.

2012 NFL Draft: RB Speed Scores - Sean Dreusike
Overall, I don't really see any of these 5 backs being able to step in and be the primary backup to Mathews right away. Perhaps Hillman could especially if the team likes what he can do in pass protection and on special teams. None of these five are adept kick returns so that hurts their value. The best options may still be free agency or Tolbert unless you want to use a 2nd or 3rd round pick on a Running Back. That being said, any of those final 5 would be interesting late round pick ups.