Chargers Team Skinny
McNeil to safety, not so fast (Getty Images)
McNeil to safety, not so fast (Getty Images)

Posted Apr 1, 2003


NEEDS/DRAFT PRIORITIES: Despite Seau's pending departure, the team fills comfortable that backup Zeke Moreno is ready to take on the starting role at weakside linebacker.

The big needs remain cornerback, depth along the defensive line's interior, and kicker. Look for the team to bring some street agents in at cornerback for camp, and draft someone high -- possibly with its first pick in the opening round, at No. 15 overall.

The safety position is also fluid, where there's been talk of switching cornerback Ryan McNeil to free safety, and moving Rogers Beckett over to strong safety to replace Rodney Harrison. But neither plan is etched in stone.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: PK Steve Christie (this veteran kicker offers a safety valve if the team can't upgrade during the offseason. John Carney's name had surfaced as a possible replacement until he was re-signed by New Orleans); S Keith Lyle (another fallback player, if other plans don't work out. The team is considering moving CB Ryan McNeil to free safety, which might make Lyle a luxury. Lyle did have two INTs to go with 23 tackles once he replaced Rogers Beckett in the starting lineup); DT Shawn Price (a low priority; just a guy); OT Sammy Williams (his stock went up after stepping in for injured LT Damion McIntosh in the season's final month. Chargers won't overpay, but they want him to return for depth reasons).

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers): LB Eric Guenther (not tendered as ERFA); WR DeRonnie Pitts (not tendered as ERFA); CB Davis Sanchez (not tendered as ERFA); RB Mukala Sikyala (not tendered as ERFA).

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Leonardo Carson (tendered at $605,000 with 4th-round pick as compensation; he's not stout, but can help collapse the pocket with his quickness); LT Damion McIntosh (tendered at $1.318M with 1st-round pick as compensation; stock went down slightly last year with a persistent ankle ailment, but team likes his upside).

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: WR Dondre Gilliam (tendered at $300,000); FB Joey Goodspeed (tendered at $300,000); G Michael Keathley (tendered at $375,000); WR Eric Parker (tendered at $300,000).

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: LS David Binn (UFA; $680,000/1 yr, $25,000 SB/$450,000 base guarantee; 2003 cap: $475,000); DE Adrian Dingle (UFA; $4.5M/3 yrs; $1M SB; 2003 cap: $863,333); CB Kevin House (ERFA; $300,000/1 yr), CB Jerry Wilson (UFA; $530,000/1 yr).

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: WR David Boston (UFA Cardinals; $47.4M/7 yrs, $4M SB/$3M option SB '04/$3.9M base guaranteed '04; 2003 cap: $1.2M); FB Lorenzo Neal (UFA Bengals; $4.2M/3 yrs, $1M SB; 2003 cap: $1.088M).

PLAYERS LOST: WR Curtis Conway (cut); OT Ed Ellis (cut); RB Terrell Fletcher (cut); S Rodney Harrison (cut); RB Ronney Jenkins (not tendered as RFA/Raiders; terms unknown); FB Fred McCrary (cut); CB Alex Molden (cut); LB Orlando Ruff (UFA Saints; $3M/3 yrs, $350,000 SB).

MEDICAL WATCH: RT Vaughn Parker had a shoulder operation and should be ready for training camp.


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