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Five Players the Chargers Should Be Interested in

Kyle Posey takes a look at five free agents the Chargers would be smart to pursue.

Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The tampering period officially is today for Free Agency. The Chargers were a 5 win team and there’s no point in pretending there aren’t plenty holes to fill this offseason. Expecting releases, they’ll need a new left tackle, at least 1 guard, an upgrade at running back, a corner, 2 safeties, a receiver, a tight end, and an interior defensive lineman. I also still believe another edge rusher is a need. So, yeah, they have some work to do. Obviously, all those holes aren’t going to be filled in one day of free agency. Nor will they in the draft. I do think we can come up with a wishlist. Let’s keep it at 5, for now.

The draft is loaded at corner, edge rushers, tight end, and some late round running backs. There are also some very good safeties that should be available. The Chargers should use this free agency period to address the trenches.

Left Tackle

I’m guessing the days of King Dunlap won’t be on the roster or will be restructured. Either way, I highly doubt the team is counting on him to play a full season. Once Washington recently applied the exclusive rights restricted free agent tag to their left tackle Ty Nsekhe last week, I thought the dream of getting a good left tackle was out of the picture. That was until Denver said they weren’t going to pick up Russell Okung’s option.

Most importantly, he’s a finisher. He has some nastiness and plays with good pad level and power. Melvin Ingram gave him issues with pure athleticism. The Texans rushers were able to cross his face a bit. But Okung showed his strength when he got his hands on them. Cutting Dunlap and replacing him with Okung is a huge upgrade. Okung is a nice tier 2 type tackle in the NFL that would really help the run game get going.


I say perhaps 2 safeties because we’ll see if Jaleel Addae is brought back and what they do with Dwight Lowery. Personally, I think both are expendable. After that, it doesn’t get much better. Towards the end of the year last year Gus Bradley started to use more 3 safety looks. Linebacker coach, from the Pete Carroll tree, Richard Smith was the defensive coordinator in Atlanta last year and they loved long safeties who can run and hit. I’d imagine they’ll bring that to the Chargers.

D.J. Swearinger is that guy.

He had a few plays in that game where he had kill shots on the receivers. I was surprised, in a good way, how well he read plays, reacted, and came up under control.

Even more impressive was seeing him in coverage. We know he can play the run and is a big hitter, but he showed some coverage skills as well.

Swearinger has a chance to be this year’s Casey Hayward for the Chargers. He can play deep, in the robber role, or around the line of scrimmage. They need his mentality and versatility on the defense.


I think we’ll see one of the younger guys get a shot. I also think we’ll see a veteran brought in to compete. There is a restricted free agent that Andrew Norwell that would be my favorite free agent based on his toughness and availability. He started all 16 games last year. He has plays with the type of leverage and power that will remind us of Kris Dielman. He’s a technician in pass protection and that helps hide any athletic deficiencies. He’s a player. He’s also only 25. Norwell is well on his way to being one of the best guards in the league. The problem is he’ll likely be tagged as a 2nd rounder. That could scare off Tom Telesco, especially picking early. But if he’s really interested in improving in the trenches, a surefire bet like Norwell is going to be better than any lineman at that point of the draft.

Defensive Tackle

The team should’ve signed Nick Fairley last year. They should sign him against especially now this year. In the 4-3 defense that Bradley will throw out there, you need interior defensive lineman that can excel on both the weak and strong side of the formations. That’s Fairley. He can be a disruptive force in the run game. He also had 6.5 sacks last year. Playing both 1 and 3 technique he’d give the Chargers some much-needed versatility and athleticism inside. There weren’t 10 better interior lineman than him last year, so he might get a fat contract. Fairley is a talent, though. A much-needed one.

Wide Receiver

I don’t think there’s a more obvious player that will be a Charger than Cordarrelle Patterson. The Chargers just hired their receiver coach to be the Special Teams coordinator. The Chargers have one of if not the worst return units in the NFL. That is an area where Patterson flourishes. He’s led the league in kickoff return average the last 2 years. As a receiver, he showed glimpses last year. 52 catches, though most were near the line of scrimmage. I don’t trust Patterson to track the ball downfield or make a contested play, but he’s good for a gimmick here and there. You’re not bringing him in to be a game changer on offense. You’re bringing him in so your offense has a shorter field.