Thursday, March 7, 2013
Potential LT target for San Diego
By Tim Kavanagh
One unresolved issue for the San Diego Chargers as they look ahead to the fall is their left tackle spot. It's possible that they'll simply re-sign Jared Gaither, who had his moments, or they could go in another direction entirely. San Diego has the 11th overall pick in the draft, and there may be a fine prospect waiting for them at that point. But, they could also solve their issue earlier, in free agency.
The New York Giants took one LT free agent off the market by re-signing Will Beatty last week, but there are some other options that are poised to become available should their teams not follow suit. The list includes Jake Long, Jermon Bushrod and Sam Baker, and it's also possible the Chargers could sign one of the available RTs with the idea of working with them this offseason on switching sides; the RTs potentially hitting the market include Andre Smith, Sebastian Vollmer and Phil Loadholt.
Within the "Offseason Playbook" entry for San Diego, Field Yates makes the case for the Bolts to go with Baker:
Field YatesOffseason Playbook: San Diego
"The reconstruction of the Chargers' offensive line ought to begin at the most important position, and Baker has a wealth of experience protecting a franchise quarterback during his time as the blindside tackle for Matt Ryan in Atlanta. He bounced back with a strong 2012 after struggling in 2011 and offers long-term value at the age of 27. The left tackle market is considered deep between the draft and free agency, but the Chargers' woes were so glaring along the line last season that they shouldn't wait to address their hole at the position. Philip Rivers has shown himself to be the capable leader of a downfield passing game when given time to throw, and as San Diego transitions into a new regime, it will be critical to give their most important offensive player the resources he needs to flourish. It will take much more than just one player to sort out all of the protection struggles in San Diego, and re-signing talented guard Louis Vasquez would be a coup as well, but grabbing hold of Baker and inserting him as the left tackle is a pivotal first step. "