It has been widely touted that the Chargers have approximately $7 million dollars left of the salary cap remaining not giving TT a ton of wiggle room, and so I have scoured the FA market and have come up with a few names that might be good value pickups on short term or low cost contracts.
1) Jason Smith, OT (formerly of the Jets and Rams). Yeah shocker I know, a guy that the Rams could not wait to chase out of the building. As we all know O-line was a weakness last year and even though we have made some moves for depth (Dunlap, Rinehart) I still think any extra competition there is good competition. At only 26 Smith has a number of years in him yet and a lot to prove having been taken second overall by the Rams in 2009 and standing at 6’5″, 308lbs he’s another big body who can fight for a spot on the revamped O-line. One of the main reasons he makes this list though is that he was released back in mid Feb, and he is yet to be picked up meaning he should probably be able to be grabbed for the minimum (which should be $685,000).
2. Sen’derrick Marks, D-line (formerly of the Titans). After doing a bit of digging I came across Marks, who I have to say is a player that I don’t remember hearing a ton about last season, but from looking at the stats he looks like he had a pretty nice year with 41 Tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 3 passes defended. At only 26 he has plenty left in the tank and I think would be a great pickup to boost the depth of the incredibly thin D-line. There are other teams interested (NY Giants supposedly) but no contracts on the table yet, and I think if we were to offer a 2 year $1.75 mil contract ($700,000 this year) he might bite.
3. Akeem Jordan, OLB (formerly of the Eagles). You’ll be sensing a theme here I’m sure but at 27 and on the back of a pretty nice season (44 tackles, 4 forced fumbles) Jordan could provide depth at OLB and wouldn’t cost the bank. The minimum would be $685,000 and I think he could be picked up for around that.
4. Robert McClain, CB (formerly of the Falcons). A 24 year old corner who had 61 tackles and 1 INT last year hasn’t had a ton of interest thus far, but being so young he has a ton of time to develop. Drafted in the 7th round of 2010 the Falcons were his third team (Panthers and Jags), Which might be a red flag, but he also returned kicks and punts in college and could be a good depth pick up to push Gatson in Camp. I would have thought he’d be available for cheap on the minimum which would be 600,000).
5. Corey Lynch, SS (formerly our very own). I would honestly be really happy seeing Lynch back in powder blue next season as I think he’s had a couple of pretty good seasons with the team to date and would add depth to the SS position which currently has no-one to play it. He had 46 tackles and 2 INTs in 2012 and could be brought back for the minimum ($685,000) because there doesn’t appear to have been a ton of interest in his services, and a big plus is that he should already know a lot of the defence having played it last year.
Okay so what does that mean…
As noted right at the start we have approximately $7 million left in cap space. Now assuming that we require roughly $4million to sign draft picks that leaves us with about $2-3 million to play with. Now one consideration is that Danario Alexander still hasn’t signed, and his original round tender is worth $1.323 mil so that has to be taken into account leaving us with… $5.677mil remaining.
As stated a lot of the players could be picked up for low amounts, but I think the most important are Sen’Derrick Marks (D-line depth) and Corey Lynch (anyone to play SS).
The moves that I would propose call for Sen’Derrick Marks to be paid $700,000 this year, and Corey Lynch to receive the minimum of $685,000 (probably on a one year contract) counting between them for $1.385mil against the cap. Now this combined with DAX’s salary accounts for $2.708mil against the cap leaving us with $4.292 mil remaining (which should cover the cost of signing Rookie’s).
Now obviously none of these moves are guaranteed, and we might well wait until after the draft when players start to be cut during camp before we bring in more bodies, but I do think that Sen’Derrick Marks is a great value pick-up who should be considered, and I think we should be bringing DAX (who doesn’t!?!?!) and Lynch back into the fold.
Thanks a lot for reading.
Joe (aka BoltUpUK)