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Guessing Game: Which RBs are the Chargers Chasing?

According to the Silver Fox Columnist and his trusty sidekick, the San Diego Chargers are attempting to fill the RB spot left vacant by Mike Tolbert with a veteran free agent that can split carries with Ryan Mathews and contribute as a 3rd-down specialist.

The only names we've heard so far are Jackie Battle, who visited with the team about a week ago, and Michael Bush, who the team wasn't interested in and who is now a Chicago Bear anyway. We've also been told that there are 3 RBs besides Battle that the team is pursuing.

With a premium being put on passing offense around the league (thank you, Patriots, Saints, Giants and Packers), many FA RBs are hitting the market only to find out that nobody is willing to pay very much for their services. That means that most of the FA RBs are still free agents.

Assuming that the 3 RBs that the Chargers have targeted are still free agents, let's see if we can find out who might be filling Tolbert's shoes after the jump.

Guys That Fit the Mold

  • Joseph Addai - Ugh, he's super broken. He'd be like the poor-man's Bob Sanders and doesn't take away the goal-line carries from Mathews.
  • Kahlil Bell - I could see it. At 25 years old, he's not exactly a veteran, but the team could view him as a Kevin Burnett-type that would succeed in their system.
  • Ronnie Brown - I shouldn't want them to sign Ronnie Brown as badly as I do. Every time I want a FA in San Diego this badly, it never happens. An absolutely perfect fit if they're not afraid of his mileage.
  • Kevin Faulk - He's a thousand years old and he can't carry the ball. This is here just so the Patriots fans won't bring him up in the comments.
  • Justin Forsett - This name keeps getting brought up. He's young, seems to fit the mold. I could see it.
  • Thomas Jones/Earnest Graham/Ryan Grant - Jones is too old, Graham is too broken and Grant is a terrible scheme fit.
  • Mewelde Moore - Love this option as well. He doesn't have the same potential as Ronnie Brown, but he's been solid his entire career and is still pretty young.
  • Maurice Morris - AKA Morris Morris. He used to be known as the guy that would have a great preseason game against the Chargers every year. Now he's known as one of the better "backup" RBs in the league with the Lions.
  • Sammy Morris - A solid RB. Not exciting, but not scary or bad in any way.
  • Jerious Norwood - A perfect fit before getting hurt with the Falcons in 2010. Had a really terrible 2011 with the Rams. If he's healthy, he'd be exciting.
  • Kevin Smith - Has had an up and down career with the Lions. Has great hands. The fact that he still has starter potential, and he's beloved by the Lions, makes him unlikely to land in San Diego.
  • Chester Taylor - At this point in his career, Taylor isn't much of a runner. He's almost entirely a 3rd down specialist, probably putting him out of the running.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson - No.
  • Cadillac Williams - I can't imagine A.J. Smith filling an important spot with someone that can't stay healthy. *Thinks of Bob Sanders* Oh, shut up, brain.

Narrowing the Candidates List

  • Kahlil Bell
  • Ronnie Brown
  • Justin Forsett
  • Mewelde Moore
  • Maurice Morris
  • Sammy Morris
  • Jerious Norwood
  • Kevin Smith
We can probably assume Kevin Smith is off this list. I also can't see them being all that excited to land Norwood either. The Steelers will probably fight hard for Mewelde and the Lions will probably want to keep Morris to backup Smith. Kahlil Bell is still rather unproven. I think I just got us down to a very mysterious group of 3.

  • Ronnie Brown
  • Justin Forsett
  • Sammy Morris
  • (and don't forget about) Jackie Battle
I'm okay with this group. Brown has the most potential, but was so awful last season that the Eagles tried to trade him away for next to nothing. I think he was just a very bad fit for their system, but that's just my opinion.

Forsett would probably be the most expensive and, with the team wanting to sign back Jacob Hester to be the backup FB, it probably doesn't make sense to spend too much on him.

Morris is the type of guy you sign when your first two RBs go on IR in the beginning of the season. He's solid, but his ceiling is much lower than Forsett or Brown. That being said, he's one of those guys that this front office can fall in love with because of his consistency and experience.

I don't like Jackie Battle much at all. He's kind of like the poor man's Le'Ron McClain, who was a poor man's Mike Tolbert years ago.

So, there's my guess on the guys that the Chargers are chasing. They might even be calling them "Plan A", "Plan B", "Plan C" and "Plan D". I'd like to believe that, anyway. But, who knows? I'm probably way off.