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Top 25 Free Agents the San Diego Chargers should sign (15-11)

Five more free agents that the San Diego Chargers should be targeting this offseason, including a big-play WR and a couple of offensive linemen.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As we get closer to number 1, the list will start to have more marquee names, more impact players, and bigger contracts. Today's list features a wide receiver, an outside linebacker, a pair of offensive lineman, and a cornerback.

15) Jeremey Parnell, RT, age 29, Cowboys

Why sign him

This is a great read on some of the things Parnell could bring to the Chargers. This could very well be King Dunlap part 2. Everything that the Chargers would ask Parnell to do, he can do and do it well. Parnell is strong, athletic and most importantly, doesn't make mistakes. Parnell gave up zero sacks and 1 QB hit in 8 games this year. Parnell is better in pass protection but can certainly get it done as a run blocker. Dallas runs a somewhat similar zone blocking scheme as San Diego so the transition would be seamless. If Coach Joe D can make Dunlap look athletic, he can fix Parnell's issues. With Parnell you fill a position of need without having to break the bank. This could very well be a value signing from the Coupon God himself, Tom Telesco.

Argument against him

Parnell plays with poor bad level in the run game so his strength doesn't translate as much as it should. While his strength helps him in pass protection he does need help from time to time. Also have to worry about giving a player starter money when the most he's ever played in a season is 8 games. Not to mention he was surrounded by a ton of talent that likely made him look better than he was. In San Diego, poor offensive line play sticks out like a sore thumb.

Contract Value: 3 years $10 Million

The 10th best right tackle in the league makes $3 million a year. You could give Parnell a contract that pays him a hair higher but with less guaranteed money than those contracts. Make him prove his play wasn't a fluke.

14) Jabaal Sheard, OLB, age 26, Browns

Why sign him

The 2nd Brown on the list would add to the athleticism at the position that already features Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attaochu. Sheard is more powerful than those 2 and could be the strong side linebacker of the future while still offering enough pass rush where he's not a liability. Jaret Johnson has 1 year left and the team will desperately miss his production. Sheard is a guy that can replace his production, though not as a good a run defender, and give the team 3 good players with versatility  Sheard is also better with his hands as a pass rusher than Ingram & Attaochu and could teach them different pass rush moves as well. Did I mention he was powerful? Violent is a better word to describe his play. The Browns really missed him when he was hurt. Cleveland's defensive coordinator was quoted that Sheard was their best OLB against the run, it just didn't show up on the stat sheet.

Argument against him

We know in a 3-4 the outside linebacker will occasionally drop back in coverage. Johnson was isolated on tight ends at times this year where he was asked to cover them on routes down the field and it didn't go well. This is an area where Sheard never really grasped since college. He doesn't look comfortable in coverage, at all. He's best suited when his hand is in the dirt. While the Chargers play plenty of 4-2-5, usually one rusher is standing up, and it's the strong side guy.

In Week 11 and 12 Sheard suffered foot/ankle injuries that limited him the rest of the season. Sheard would be yet another player with injury concerns on the Chargers. Also, how much do you want to pay to a non pass rushing linebacker?

Contract Value: 5 years, $28 million

Run stopper Paul Kruger, who also had a 9 sack season, got 5 years for $40 million. Ahmad Brooks is a stud and got 6 years for $40 million. I would guess Sheard falls into the range closer to $5-6 million than $7-8 million.

13) Buster Skrine, CB, age 26, Browns

Why sign him

Another Brown on the list. Skrine would be an excellent slot corner. Though he seems small, he's can play physical and is a feisty defender that has improved every year. Ask any Cleveland fan and they will tell you he's a must for the team to re-sign. Skrine has good ball skills, actually looks back for the ball, and is a competitor. He'd give the Chargers an upgrade in the slot over Marcus Gilchrist. Because of injuries to the Browns secondary, he was forced to cover #1 receivers or be placed in a position that didn't suit his strengths, yet still held his own. In a 4 game stretch toward the end of the season, Skrine only allowed 12 catches on 29 targets for an average of 38 yards per game. He also only gave up 2 touchdowns in the 2nd half of the season and those both came in the last game.

Argument against him

17 penalties in 2014. Seventeen. I watched them and there were some ticky tack calls but if you have the reputation, you're not getting those calls.

God forbid Jason Verrett or Brandon Flowers get hurt again next year. Skrine would then be thrust into the similar role where he'd have to face #1 WRs on the perimeter. His strength is his speed, quickness and awareness in the slot. On the perimeter he's at a disadvantage because he can't play to the size of the "big" WRs. Skrine gave up 8 touchdowns this year. 6 of those came against receivers 6'2 or taller.

Contract Value: 4 years, $13 million

We valued this deal at a little less than Corey Graham's 4 year for $16 million he signed last year. Skrine has value in the slot, his young, and has steadily gotten better. This is would be a good deal to get Skrine at. Part of the reason he's this high on the list. Skrine plays 1 of the 5 most important positions in the sport and can be signed at a cheap deal.

12) Mike Iupati, LG, age 28, 49ers

Why sign him

One of San Diego's biggest issues was running the ball last year. The Chargers were 30th and 31st when it came to running behind left tackle or between the guards. Conversely, the 49ers were 4th and 16th. Iupati had a lot to do with that. Iupati is a bully. He excels in pulling, which is an area where Rinehart/Troutman really struggled, and simply creates running lanes that make life easy on running backs. In the right scheme and when healthy, Iupati could be the best run blocking guard in the NFL.

Argument against him

Iupati has always been a liability in pass protection. He tends to lunge and reach. He doesn't move as well going backward and isn't good at recognizing stunts or blitzes. Iupati would also have to adjust to blocking players at the 2nd level or locating defenders when he's not covered up in the run game. As a 49er, there was usually someone waiting for him in the hole. He's best when he's stationary. Quicker defensive lineman tend to expose him as evidenced by the 7 sacks he gave up in 2014.

Chris Watt's future is probably at guard. Though he has the flexibility to play center, I believe he can be the answer at left guard and you also have him on a rookie contract for 3 more years. The value makes sense in this situation to put Watt at guard.

Contract Value: 5 years, $31 million

Iupati wasn't right last year. He missed some games and his play dipped a bit. He still will get paid like a top 10 guard so we assume he'll get paid around $6.2 million per year.

11) Jeremy Maclin, WR, age 27, Eagles

Why sign him

Maclin is coming off of a season where he had 85 receptions, only 1 drop, 1318 yards and 10 touchdowns playing with sub par quarterbacks. The issue of Chargers receivers winning their 1-on-1 matchups would no longer be an issue. Maclin is a legit threat at every level of the field. Him being a vertical threat would open up things underneath for Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates. The most impressive part of Maclin's game could be his addition to the intermediate area of the field. From 10-19 yards Maclin caught 27 of his 41 targets for 538 yards.

As a fit in the offense it's almost identical to what he's been doing since his college days at Missouri. Making plays all over the field and using his speed to get yards after the catch. Maclin can line up in the slot or outside. He's also a superior route runner to all receivers not named Allen. At 26 years old you could have 2 perimeter threats that would keep the offense ahead of the chains and in the end zone.

Argument against him

Earlier in his career Maclin wasn't great at catching the ball in traffic. This is a needed skill in San Diego's offense. Receivers have to be able to win contested catches over the middle. He made some spectacular grabs this year but was that a fluke or a sign of growth? Maclin also has had the label of being "soft" and has had a injury history. It's hard to commit big money to a guy that has had the injury history as Maclin. Especially considering the Chargers injury history as a team. In 2014, Maclin left games with a head injury and also a tweaked hamstring. In 2013 Maclin tore his ACL. In 2012, it was his back, knee, hip and groin that limited him or caused Maclin to miss a few games. He also tore his ACL at Missouri. Quite the risk to pay a guy $10 million with that lengthy of an injury report.

Contract Value: 5 years, $49 million

The injury history is lengthy, but when he plays, Maclin is a playmaker. Knowing that some lesser receivers in Dwayne Bowe/Greg Jennings received pricey contracts, it's not unreasonable at all to think Maclin will receive just under $10 million a year.