Chargers.com writer Christopher Smith broke this news on twitter moments ago:
The Chargers have reached a three-year agreement with C Nick Hardwick.— Christopher Smith (@SDchargersdude) March 13, 2012
Since then other sources have confirmed the report (not that it needed much confirming since Mr. Smith works for the Chargers). The news comes just before the 1 pm Pacific time start of free agency, but it is official nonetheless. The eight year veteran and one time Pro Bowl Center is now under contract through the 2014 season. The tattoo covered snapper had made some rumblings about retirement, but at 30 years of age it was too early to call it quits. Instead, he'll return to San Diego and keep hiking balls to Philip Rivers and mentoring what will be a much younger offensive line with the retirement of Kris Dielman and release of Marcus McNeill.
#61 / Center / San Diego Chargers
Sep 12, 1981
Jason La Canfora reports the following details about the deal:
Nick Hardwick's deal with San Diego is 3 years, max of $13.5M with $6.5M guaranteed #freeagency— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 13, 2012