Louis Vasquez is one of the strong points in a weak Chargers’ offensive line. Vasquez and center Nick Hardwick are about the only bright spots on the entire offensive line. With that, Vasquez might end up being able to test the free agent waters this season. He’s reportedly asking for around $6 million a year from the Chargers. The Chargers have come out and said that re-signing Vasquez is their “top priority” this off-season.
In his four-year career with San Diego so far, he’s only had one penalty called against him, and that was a false start in 2010. He’s only allowed 11.0 sacks in four years, only allowing 2.5 last season.
If the Chargers don’t get Philip Rivers some protection, he’s no good to them. Kevin Acee of UT-San Diego said, “I ran my assessment that it was one or the other – get Rivers sufficient protection or get something for him – by a half-dozen agents and assistant coaches here this week. None disagreed with me. Most vehemently concurred.”
Trading Rivers would be a last resort, but the statement doesn’t reflect lack of faith in Rivers, but more so the need to beef up the offensive line. Before looking elsewhere, the battle starts internally. The new staff has sat down and looked at every player on the o-line and have already said that they’ll be sitting down with struggling left tackle Jared Gaither soon.
It comes down to this, if the Chargers want to have a good o-line, they need to re-sign Vasquez. The only upgrade in free agency is Andy Levitre from the Bills and chances are he’s going to want top-dollar. The supply and demand of offensive guards is what will make Vasquez a highly paid player either way this off-season. The Chargers just need to pay the man.
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