Nick Hardwick to continue playing


Stalwart Chargers center Nick Hardwick will not retire at the age of 30.

He informed Kevin Acee of the recently renamed U-T San Diego that he plans to continue playing football after briefly considering retirement. An unrestricted free agent, Hardwick doesn’t fear that his indecision will hurt his market value.

“My commitment is full throttle,” Hardwick said. “I just think you have to re-assess yourself all the time – assess how you’re progressing, assess where you stand. I’m more excited right now than I’ve been in a long time to train. Obviously, two weeks off was enough to get the itch.”

Hardwick talked a lot about the future of the Chargers offensive line. It sounds like he thinks he’ll be part of it.

“I obviously have a lot of best friends in that building, including on the coaching staff. I’d certainly like [to stay]. I hope I’m in their plans. If not, we’re ready to go on,” Hardwick said.

There’s no need for Hardwick to sell himself short. Behind Packers center Scott Wells, he’s likely to be the best free agent center available this offseason.

It sounds like Chargers guard Kris Dielman, who is also mulling retirement, will return to the team. Acee expects the team to make an effort to re-sign left tackle Jared Gaither.