Nick Hardwick signs three-year deal with Chargers

AP

Nick Hardwick is staying in San Diego.

The Chargers have signed Hardwick, a center who was about to become a free agent, to a three-year contract.

Hardwick has started all 16 games each of the last two seasons, and the Chargers identified getting him signed before free agency started as a high priority. They’ve now done it with a little more than an hour to spare.

San Diego’s offensive line is undergoing changes all over the place, with Marcus McNeil cut, Kris Dielman retiring and offensive tackle Jared Gaither about to become an unrestricted free agent. But at center, the Chargers have now ensured that their starter is staying in place.