Greetings from Peoria, Arizona! I appreciate all of the e-mails and tweets worried about me, but I can assure you that I am perfectly fine....just busy.
You know who hasn't been busy in the second half of this week? The San Diego Chargers!
On the first day of Free Agency, the Chargers added three new players to the roster. They re-signed three of their own, and tendered three other restricted free agents. They spent money, they were active, and then.....
Restricted free agent Damion Square, who I liked a lot last year (!), was brought back through some sort of contract. But there are plenty of players left and plenty of fans left wondering if the Chargers have reached some sort of self-imposed cap on their free agent spending.
Let's take a quick look at the players that are still available that the Chargers might want to be talking to:
Eric Weddle: This one is obvious. Dwight Lowery doesn't seem like an ideal replacement for Weddle, and Weddle's agent seems to have mistaken what the market for his client would be. Perhaps they'd come down in their asking price and the Chargers could have both Weddle and Lowery?
Reggie Nelson: Same as Weddle but without the heartstrings.
Russell Okung: Teams are thrown off because Okung is working as his own agent, but he's a solid Left Tackle (who is coming off a shoulder surgery). If the Chargers want to replace/upgrade King Dunlap, and they probably should, this would be a great way to do it. Okung won't be cheap, but would send a clear message about the team's intentions to compete this year.
Stephen Tulloch: The Chargers are set at the two starting Inside Linebacker spots, but they're lacking depth after getting rid of Donald Butler and Kavell Conner. Tulloch would be a solid backup and provide excellent leadership for the kids that are starting.
Patrick Robinson: The team is missing a big part of their defense by losing Robinson, and signing him back keeps the hole from even being created.
Casey Hayward: If the team lets Robinson walk, they could maybe upgrade the spot with Hayward. Like Robinson, Hayward is equally effective in the slot or on the outside.
Boom or Bust
Chris Long: Once an elite pass-rusher, Long's body has been giving out on him over the last few years. He will probably sign a short-term deal with not a lot of guaranteed money, and he could certainly be a dominant pass-rusher if used the right way.
Nick Fairley: Once a dominant interior linemen, Fairley left the Detroit Lions with a bad reputation on and off the field, and with a body that scares most team doctors. He played well in a rotational role with the Rams last year, but would probably just duplicate what Brandon Mebane already brings to the team.
Greg Hardy: Probably not worth the trouble, but he has been a dominant defensive player for years.
Andre Smith: If the Chargers decided to move Joe Barksdale to Left Tackle, which wouldn't be insane but probably shouldn't be expected, Andre Smith is an interesting name to consider at Right Tackle. At one point, Smith was a Pro Bowl-level talent, but his work ethic has always been questionable.