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Chargers AFC West Free Agent Preview

Pro Football Weekly has a free agent preview on the AFC West, and here’s what they have on the Chargers heading into free agency.

Unsigned players: OLB Antwan Applewhite (3), OLB Antwan Barnes (4), ILB Darry Beckwith (1), ILB Kevin Burnett (6), S Tyrone Carter (11), DE Jacques Cesaire (8), OT Jeromey Clary (4), ILB Stephen Cooper (8), TE James Dearth (10), OT Brandyn Dombrowski (2), WR Malcom Floyd (5), LB James Holt (2), CB Dante Hughes (4), WR Vincent Jackson (6, franchised), DT Travis Johnson (6), FB Billy Latsko (1), TE Randy McMichael (9), ILB Brandon Moore (7), OG-C Scott Mruczkowski (6), WR Legedu Naanee (4), DE Ryan Neill (4), DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo (2), CB Paul Oliver (4), ILB Brandon Siler (4), RB Darren Sproles (6), FB Mike Tolbert (3), QB Billy Volek (11), WR Kelley Washington (8), S Pat Watkins (5), S Eric Weddle (4).

Analysis: GM A.J. Smith and Co. have a lot of work ahead of them this offseason if they hope to keep the Chargers relatively intact in 2011. One of their first orders of business will be inking Weddle to a long-term deal, as he has become one of the league’s top free safeties. Next on the agenda will be figuring out what to do at inside linebacker, where both Burnett and Cooper are free agents.

It’s unlikely San Diego will be able to keep both, so Smith might have to pick between the two defensive stalwarts. Receiver is also a key spot for the Bolts, who have already put the franchise tag on Jackson. With V-Jax probably in his final year with the club, signing Floyd to a long-term deal becomes even more important. Naanee, on the other hand, could be done in San Diego.

Meanwhile, the Chargers like what they have in Clary and probably will re-sign him, and Tolbert definitely will be brought back after a breakout year. The same isn’t true for Sproles, however, who is due too much money for a third-down back. In free agency, expect Smith to target linebackers and D-linemen, possibly adding a receiver or two, as well.

Click HERE to see the other AFC West teams.

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