The Chargers are gearing up for some major changes to the starting lineups on both sides of the ball. Today, more defensive spots became available with the release of safety Atari Bigby and the news that Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason will test the free agency market.
Bibgy signed with the Chargers last off-season and played in only 11 games for the Chargers this season before being released today. He’s best known for his five-year tenure with the Green Bay Packers. Last season he had 68 combined tackles and one fumble recovery. He only defended three passes and didn’t pick any off. He spent most of the 2012 season battling injuries, one likely reason why he was released.
Jammer has played all ten of his professional seasons in San Diego and has grown to be a fan favorite. The Chargers have said that the door remains open for him if he wants to come back after testing the waters. Last season he had 64 combined tackles and three interceptions, scoring on one of them. He’s been known as a top-tier corner for most of his career and has gained much respect by wideouts throughout the league.
Cason is another guy who’s spent his entire career in San Diego and would be welcomed back. Last season he had 73 combined tackles and two interceptions. He’s played in every game since coming into the league in 2008. He’s a solid number two corner and more than likely will go to another team looking to add a player who could step up to be a number one guy.
With these three players gone from the secondary, where do the Chargers go from here?
Brent Grimes is a top free agent at cornerback this off-season. If Grimes can stay healthy, one could make the case for him being one of the elite corners in the league. In Atlanta he earned the nick-name “Optimus Grimes” for his solid defense on Calvin “Megatron” Johnson.
Keenan Lewis is another guy the Chargers could give a look to. He doesn’t rack up a lot of interceptions but he’s a good guy to use to stop the run. He can step up and play inside and take on big tight ends and backs. He might come with a cheaper price in this large class of corners.
At safety, the Chargers could look at proven guys like Adrian Wilson or Ed Reed. Those guys might be pricey, but they could be worth it. They could go a little cheaper and pick up a guy like Sherrod Martin or Ryan Mundy.
In terms of the draft, the Chargers could make a pick in the 3rd of 4th round and pick up Leon McFadden out of San Diego State. McFadden has drawn comparison to Grimes because of the fact that he has great speed and can become a lock-down type of corner. You can see more about McFadden here.
The Chargers seem to be making the moves they need to make in order to fit the new regime this upcoming season, but as fans, all we can do is sit back and wait to see if it works out or blows up in the team’s face. Only time will tell.