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Chargers trying to take care of offensive line before free agency

Nick Hardwick, Philip Rivers AP

We shared a report about the Chargers’ contract talks with impending free agent tackle Jared Gaither on Monday, but that’s not the only offensive lineman they’re trying to retain before the start of free agency on March 13th.

The team is also talking to center Nick Hardwick about re-signing with the team before he hits the open market. Hardwick has started every game in each of the last two seasons and 103 games overall since joining the team in 2003. Keeping Hardwick and Gaither would allow the Chargers to maintain some stability on the offensive line even with the retirement of Kris Dielman and the expected departure of Marcus McNeill.

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the team would like to square away their offensive line before the start of free agency. Doing so would allow them to have a clear idea of what money they have to spend on help from outside or to use on bringing back wide receiver Vincent Jackson.

If they do choose to go outside, Mario Williams could be a consideration. Acee reports that the Chargers have an assigned, if unknown, price that they would be willing to pay to sign Williams as a free agent. Given A.J. Smith’s history, it seems unlikely that said price would go up if they are able to sign Gaither and Hardwick, but keeping them in the fold would at least allow the team to make some pursuit of Williams and the help he would bring their pass rush.

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10 Responses to “Chargers trying to take care of offensive line before free agency”
  1. brassknuckles47 says: Mar 7, 2012 10:58 AM

    Are you kidding me? The Chargers going after Mario Williams? What planet are you living on? AJ Smiths’ main incentive is how little money to pay players. He gets a bonus for how much money he operates under the budget. Thats what drives him, not a Superbowl. When was the last time AJ paid a player what they are worth….Sproules-NO, Brees-NO, Turner-NO, etc. etc. So the chumps who fans…..take another drink of the kool-aid. Dean Spanos did.

  2. trubroncfan07 says: Mar 7, 2012 11:12 AM

    Charger will be at the bottom of the AFC West again, just like it used to be back in 80’s and most of 90’s. I am glad they are unwilling to spend the necessary money to remain competitive.

  3. realitycheck21 says: Mar 7, 2012 11:32 AM

    AJ Smith and Spanos are famous for not paying current talent what they’re worth as they hit free agency. NFL is littered with perennial all-pro former chargers. As it stands, we’re set to lose Tolbert, Jackson along with the aforementioned guys referenced in the article as well as some other key folks. Tolbert is a great all purpose guy. Great short yardage, receiver, blocker and special teamer. Mathews is often injured and consideredthe by manythe already a bust. Huge potential liability with running back situation. Have never really recovered after loss of Turner and diminishing skills of Tomlinson. And lest we forget the absolute bonehead move of letting Sproles walk. You need talent to win. You need to pay that talent to keep them, in order to win championships. We are never going to win with average guys making the league minimum like Hester. Jackson has undeniable chemistry with Rivers. The recent free agency pickups like Creighton haven’t panned out at all. Blow out the talent because they want and deserved to get paid and then hire scrubs and wore out old vets on the cheap, and still expect to win. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. WE CHARGER FANS ARE TIRED OF MEDIOCRITY AND NOT GETTING TO OR PAST THE FIRST ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS! ARE YOU LISTENING AJ AND MR. SPANOS? The Chargers have so many needs right now it’s sickening. I’ve only scratched the surface nor addressed the HUGE needs we have on defense in terms of pass rushers and linebackers. If we are to field a competitive team for 2012 and beyond, the coaches, GM and ownership need to get freaking busy. BUT with the prospect that Norv and AJ are going to be gone after this season, where is the motivation for any of them to do anything? They already squandered away a team that was capable in years past of bringing home at least one Lombardi trophy home to SD. I believe the handwriting is on the wall fellow Charger fans…the only thing we can expect from the organization braintrust is the middle finger AGAIN. Sad…

  4. rushbacker says: Mar 7, 2012 11:36 AM

    “Having an assigned price” isn’t how you land a player like Mario Williams in free agency. “Having an open checkbook” is typically the strategy that gets it done.

  5. joetoronto says: Mar 7, 2012 11:39 AM

    I’ll bump this all the way up to 3 comments, who hoo.

    Keep doing your thing, AJ! :)

  6. bolted4life says: Mar 7, 2012 11:45 AM

    brassknuckles47: Wow AJ doesn’t pay players?

    Philip Rivers – 7 years / $98.25 million

    Eric Weddle – 5 year / $40 million

    Malcom Floyd 2 years / $5 million

    working on Gaither, Hardwick and Jackson

    as for ex players Brees/injured shoulder, Turner/we had LT, Sproles/too much

    ———-

    trubroncofan07:

    You keep telling yourself that, Elway isn’t coming back and Tebow, well… it was fun while it lasted.

  7. faithfulfriar says: Mar 7, 2012 11:58 AM

    @ brassknuckles47

    Are you kidding me? Darren SPROLES was paid and quite well for 2 years before his sub-par stats for the money he was getting paid didn’t add up so we let him go. Brees had to go cause we were paying top dollar to then back-up Philip Rivers and no one was going to trade for (at the time) an unproven backup making top-5 draft pick money. Turner had to go cause when it came down to signing Turner or signing LT (coming off one of the greatest years ever for a RB), that was a slam-dunk no brainer at the time. Everyone knows hindsight is 20/20…

    And as far as when the last time AJ paid a player? I don’t know… Weddle, Gates, Rivers, McNeill, Castillo, Clary, Phillips, Jammer, and even Scifres all come to mind.

    Do some reasearch before you make wild accusations…

  8. krebzy1 says: Mar 7, 2012 12:00 PM

    Don’t be idiots you two previous posters. Chargers operate at or extremely close to the salary cap every year. For almost every one that left there were circumstances that nobody ever seems to remember. No team in the nfl is cheap and if I remember right chargers have the 5th highest winning percentage over the last 8 years out something like that. Every team has 120 million to spend. Every team will spend virtually all of it.

  9. meytonpanning says: Mar 7, 2012 12:15 PM

    Pretty sad how the only story I’ve heard about the Chargers is about their O-line… I wanna know what they plan on doing about that terrible coaching staff they have.

    There is NO reason how you can have Rivers at QB, Floyd and Jackson at reciever, and Gates at TE and not even play better than .500 ball in a division so riddled by injuries.

    I like Norv Turner, just not as a head coach.

  10. bunjy96 says: Mar 7, 2012 12:50 PM

    krebzy1 says: Mar 7, 2012 12:00 PM

    Don’t be idiots you two previous posters. Chargers operate at or extremely close to the salary cap every year. For almost every one that left there were circumstances that nobody ever seems to remember. No team in the nfl is cheap and if I remember right chargers have the 5th highest winning percentage over the last 8 years out something like that. Every team has 120 million to spend. Every team will spend virtually all of it.

    +++++
    Did you forget about the Chiefs?

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