Tom Telesco arguably struck the best free agency gold this time last year by signing under-the-radar names such as Danny Woodhead and King Dunlap. Telesco signed Woodhead to a two year, $3.5 million dollar contract and Dunlap to a $3.7 million deal for two years as well.
Woodhead’s former team, the New England Patriots struggled at times without their versatile, do-it-all running back. Critics disputed that Woodhead’s success was accredited to the system that the Patriots ran, but instead Woodhead proved otherwise. Woodhead brought to the San Diego Chargers a dynamic that had been missing since Darren Sproles traded in his lighting bolts for a Fleur-de-lis, defecting to the New Orleans Saints. Woodhead would have the best season of his NFL career finishing with 1,296 total yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns, both career highs.
A central piece of the puzzle, the San Diego Chargers have also lacked a decent left tackle for the longest time. Along came King David Dunlap, a former seventh round pick selected by the Philadelphia Eagles. Dunlap, too can claim to have had the best season of his NFL career starting 11 games at left tackle for the Chargers. Eagles fans didn’t care much that Dunlap would be clipping his wings upon an expiring contract. Fortunately for Dunlap, and the Chargers, he landed his way into San Diego and solidified the blind side of a starving offensive line.
Telesco was impressive during free agency, just as much as he was in the draft. Unfortunately, the signing of Derek Cox to a four year, $20 million dollar contract gives strong argument to Telesco’s inexperience as a general manager and his inability to sign quality talent. This is a new year and a second chance at shying the naysayers and finding more unusual diamonds in the rough with an even more depleted salary cap. Telesco must find a way to discover new pieces for the secondary as well as the defensive line. Telesco voiced his desire to add speed to the offense and a threat at returning kicks. This is a tall order especially with not too much wiggle room in their cap space.
The Chargers cap space is already questionable for the oncoming free agency and draft. It will require a lot of patience and careful assessments to keep the talent pool from shrinking in 2014.
Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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