Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

NFL Free Agency Preview 2012: San Diego Chargers

The Chargers have a lot of players that will be hitting the free agent market and the first priority will be to take care of our own players. AJ Smith has a lot to get done in this off-season as many fans believe he is on the hot seat. Here is a look at some of the Chargers free agents:

WR Vincent Jackson – He most likely will not be getting the franchise tag and will hit the open market. We are trying to negotiate a long-term deal with him, but we will not he the highest offer that he receives. He is one of the premiere receivers available and someone will offer him a boat-load of money.

C Nick Hardwick – The offensive line will be our biggest focus this free agent period. We will mainly be looking to bring back our own players and Hardwick will be one of our highest priorities to bring back.

LT Jared Gaither – We picked up Gaither in the middle of the season and he did not allow a sack during his starts. We started our late season run when he came into the lineup. He will be another guy that we will likely bring back and it will likely mean that we release Marcus McNeill.

RB Mike Tolbert – The big bruising back will likely be looking to find a starting role somewhere and he won’t get it here with Ryan Mathews in front of him. We will attempt to bring him back, but someone that has the money and that can give him more playing time will likely get him.

DT Antonio Garay – His age and his little production dip last season could keep his price tag down and it will help us keep the colorful Garay starting in the middle of the defense.

In free agency, the Chargers will be looking to fill a number of holes, but a lot will depend on what we are able to do with our own players. If VJ walks, then we could be looking at players like Reggie Wayne, Marques Colston or Robert Meachem.

We will be looking for a pass rusher in free agency also. Names like Mario Williams, Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney and Anthony Spencer all could make our defense look a lot better.

This will be a big off-season for the Chargers and AJ Smith. We have missed out in the playoffs for 2 seasons straight and the village people already have their pitchforks out!

Preview provided by Ernie Padon. For more in-depth San Diego Chargers coverage, visit Bolt Beat.

Tags: Nfl Free Agency San Diego Chargers

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