What We Know
Vaugn Parker (AP)
Vaugn Parker (AP)

Posted Mar 2, 2004

One of the few remaining links to the Chargers' lone Super Bowl season appears to have played his last game with San Diego.

Veteran tackle Vaughn Parker has been granted his release, something that becomes official on Wednesday. He got a head start on the free-agency front, as starts seeking another team.

Parker, who's entering his 11th NFL season, was a special teams player during the Chargers' magical ride through 1994. But his trek with the Chargers is considered ended.

Parker, who ended last year on IR because of a serious knee injury, was scheduled to receive $3.2 million in 2004.

General manager A.J. Smith said it's possible Parker could return, as the two parties left on good terms. But if so, Parker, who started 107 games for the Chargers, would likely have to play for close to the minimum.

Parker's early exit shows what a state of uncertainty along the Chargers' offensive line. Starting guards Kelvin Garmon and Solomon Page are free agents, and the Chargers don't appear to be in any hurry to bring either one of them back. Damion McIntosh, the starting left tackle, is also going to test the free-agent market.

Toniu Fonoti, a second-round pick who was on IR all of last year, didn't endear himself to anyone with his work ethic last year in training camp, but his comments after the season have the staff excited about next year.

About the only position that is solid is center, where the Chargers have a reliable starter in Jason Ball and a reliable backup in veteran Cory Raymer.

This upheaval up front is among the reason some speculate the Chargers will trade out of their top spot in the draft, moving down and snagging Iowa tackle Robert Gallery.

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