Watching Sunday’s epic downfall against the Kansas City Chiefs was not the only thing that was upsetting for the San Diego Chargers.
A dark ominous cloud hovered over the team and fans everywhere as they saw easily the best receiver on the team being carted off the field. Keenan Allen’s face was full of sorrow and disappointment, as he saw his season end before it began. After missing eight games in 2015, Keenan was set to have a breakout year. What he did on the field in Kansas City — six catches for 63 yards — was evidence that a monster year was indeed plausible.
On Monday, word from the Chargers camp was that they are looking to replace Keenan through free agency or from the practice squad.
Clearly, nobody can replace someone like Allen, but here are a few free agent veterans that San Diego might be placing a call to:
Rueben Randle – At 6-foot-2, Randle, 25, is without a home. He has the skills to be very successful in the NFL and has shown bouts of it during his time with the New York Giants. However, there are reports of many missed meetings and a lack of drive from the receiver. Rueben signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in late March of this year, but then was released August 28th due to a lackluster summer and preseason. The latest report was that he tried out for the New Orleans on September 6th. To date he is still unsigned.
Roddy White – A talented receiver with the Atlanta Falcons, the 6-foot White will turn 35 in November. Spending 11 seasons in Atlanta, he is currently the all-time leading receiver. He showed a bit of decline the last two seasons and admitted that he was frustrated with the smaller role in 2015. Roddy wants to play for a contender and seems content to retire if the right situation does not present itself.
Brian Hartline – The Chargers tried out Brian back in early August, however they choose to sign, then later cut, James Jones. Hartline will be 30 this November and at 6-foot-2 he possesses great hands. There were a few injuries — shoulder and collarbone — that impacted his season last year with the Cleveland Browns. However, this possession receiver can continue to help move the chains with a quarterback like Philip Rivers.
Nate Washington – The 33-year-old receiver played for Houston Texans, his third team, in 2015 and had a decent line of 48 catches for 661 yards and four touchdowns. At 6-foot-1, Nate was signed during the offseason with the New England Patriots but was later released. Reports were that he could not get on the same page as Tom Brady. He is still a valuable veteran who has been on two Super Bowl winning teams — both with Pittsburgh Steelers — and can stretch the field.
If San Diego elects to pass on any of these or any other skeptical free agents, there are two wide receivers — one on the practice squad — that could be put in the mix.
Dom Williams (PS) – The 6-foot-2 undrafted receiver out of Washington State, ran a 4.38 40-yard dash with a 40.5 inch vertical at his Pro Day. Williams was left off the invite list for the NFL combine due to the staggering number of drops he had in college. During minicamp, he made some great plays that made a small buzz around camp. At WAZU, he finished his collegiate career second in receiving yards and touchdowns for the Cougars. In watching highlights, Dom has great speed and separation, which is key for the quick-releasing Rivers.
Isaiah Burse – At 5-foot-10, Burse made the active roster due to his kick return ability, as well as an early season-ending injury to fellow wideout Stevie Johnson. Burse has the ability to play the slot and has been with San Diego since November of last year, so he is somewhat acclimated to the offense already.
Who do you think San Diego should sign/promote? Leave your answers below
Thanks for reading.
Brian “Big Kahuna” Scott