The Chargers made a couple of moves on Thursday by signing tight end Kyle Miller and releasing defensive lineman Mitch Unrein, according to the team’s official website.
Miller was recently waived by the team after originally making the 53-man roster. The former Falcon led the Bolts with 11 receptions for 66 yards during the 2015 preseason. Miller saw most of his game action on special teams for the team.
The team was almost forced to sign Miller after current starting tight end Ladarius Green suffered his third concussion in the last nine months.
The Bolts will enter Week 3 with John Phillips, David Johnson and Miller at the tight end position.
The tight end position was already hurting due to the four-game suspension of future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates. Needless to say, he is sorely missed. He i available to return to the field for the Week 5 contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Unrein was signed this offseason during free agency. The former Denver Bronco was seen as depth along the defensive front.
Articles from Chargers.com:
- Chargers sign Kyle Miller; release Mitch Unrein
- Subscribe to the Chargers official YouTube channel
- What does Peterson think of Gordon?
- Gordon and Waynes: From best friends to enemies
- Advantage: Norv Turner or the Bolts?
Articles from ESPN.com:
- Norv Turner faces former team in Chargers
- Melvin Gordon misses the cut on rookie rankings
- Ladarius Green suffers second concussion in two weeks
Articles from The San Diego Union-Tribune:
Having made great strides to retool on the offensive line, the Chargers now look to make the same significant upgrades on defense. Cornerback Brandon Flowers was locked in with a new four-year deal. Defensive End Ricardo Mathews was re-upped for one year. Defensive lineman Mitch Unrein was brought over from Denver. Secondary help was added with the signings of free agent cornerbacks Patrick Robinson and Jimmy Wilson. Now it’s time to look at the hole at the linebacker position.
An underrated name that is still on the free agent market is inside linebacker Mason Foster, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 6’1, 240 lb. Foster was a third round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. In his first three seasons, Foster registered 381 combined tackles, 12 passes defensed, six sacks, five interceptions and two touchdowns.
Known for his versatility, natural football instincts and toughness the 26-year old had a down season in 2015 with 62 combined tackles. Keep in mind he missed six games last season with a separated shoulder and strained Achilles or those numbers would have been higher. After having to adjust to three new defensive schemes in the last three years, he is to be commended for being able to perform consistently on a high level despite all the turnover in Tampa Bay.
Last season saw the arrival of a new head coach in Tampa Bay. Lovie Smith was brought in to replace Greg Schiano and with him came his pet creation, the Tampa 2 defense. Foster was lost in the shuffle in the new defense and is looking to join another squad that utilizes a conventional base defense. Word is Foster is in contract talks with the Bears but according multiple reports are far apart in discussions.
Foster would be a great addition to a Chargers linebacking corps that has been besieged by injuries. Until last season he had only missed one game. Mantei Te’o has (seemingly) chronic foot issues. Melvin Ingram is still rounding back into form. Coupled with the departures of Jarrett Johnson and Dwight Freeney and the underwhelming season registered by Donald Butler, Foster is a playmaker that could raise the game of those around him.
The Chargers still have plenty of cap space and Foster makes the team better. GM Tom Telesco is in prime position to swoop in and do what the Bears won’t, pay the man. The Chargers defense finished in the bottom third (24th) of the league last season and has plenty of room to get better.
The Greg One
Adding depth to the roster, the Chargers and defensive lineman Mitch Unrein agreed to terms on a 2-year, $1.9 million deal. In four years with division rival Denver, Unrein played in 54 games (eight in 2014), starting in three of those. He recorded 49 tackles and no sacks as a defensive tackle.
Unrein is projected to play both at the nose and end positions on the Bolts’ defensive front, adding to this writer’s concerns about how the importance of the nose position seems to be downplayed by Mike McCoy and Tom Telesco. He could also see time at fullback, having scored a touchdown in 2012 when McCoy was Denver’s offensive coordinator.
Unrein joins teammate Orlando Franklin as defectors from the Broncos to the Chargers. He joins wide receiver Stevie Johnson as the newest additions to the squad that were made this week.
What do you think of this signing?
Former Broncos reserve defensive lineman, Mitch Unrein visited the Chargers today, per source.
As Tom Telesco continues to fly under the radar during free agency, he still is working diligently to find players that can add depth value to the roster.
Unrein, an undrafted free agent in 2010, spent some brief time with the Houston Texans and participated in their training camp that year. A few months later, he was signed by the Denver Broncos and spent 11 games on their practice squad.
In 2011, he spent 14 games as a reserve defensive lineman before playing all 16 regular-season games for the Broncos in 2012.
He was also the only defensive lineman in Broncos history to catch a touchdown pass from Peyton Manning vs. Tampa Bay (12/2/12).
Ultimately, Unrein would be a backup to Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes. With how common injuries occur in the NFL, along with an injury stricken team last year, he’s worth taking a look at.