Chargers’ Surprises in Free Agency

After two weeks of free agency, more than one Chargers fan stands a bit baffled by the team’s approach. The biggest surprises to sportsthink thus far:

1. Outbidding Exactly No one for Donald Brown – I made the case for the Donald Brown signing last week: when Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead bolt (pun unintended, but still shameful) for more money next season, the Chargers can take comfort in having secured the services of a versatile, veteran running back at a modest cost. That said, I don’t love the move. Even in this year’s tepid running back market, there were better deals to be had: Toby Gerhart is probably Brown’s equal in the passing game and adds a whole different dimension than Brown with his punishing play. His deal was was almost identical to Brown’s, and Gerhart has less wear on his tires. Ben Tate and Knowshon Moreno may also produce better results for similar money. (Although, whether any of these players would have taken on a complimentary role this season is another matter.)

2. Pass Coverage for Penny Pinchers – The defensive backfield performed admirably down the stretch last year, especially once the Chargers mustered some semblance of a pass rush. A roster featuring players like Richard Marshall, Shareece Wright, and Jahleel Addae should come as no surprise, then. But the unit lacks both top-end talent and depth. Can’t every Chargers fan admit that they were secretly pining for the team to add Darrelle Revis?

That #90 jersey never really fit.

That #90 jersey never really fit.

3. Would Shaun Phillips look so bad in Powder Blue? – Jared Allen, Anthony Spencer, and Shaun Phillips are still on the market as this blog post goes to press. Combined, the three averaged nearly 11 sacks per 16 games played in 2012 and 2013. Allen would probably break the Bolts’ bank, but Spencer and Phillips could be had at a serious bargain. On a roster that features Thomas Keiser and Larry English, the Chargers can find room for a veteran pass rusher.

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