Former Kansas City Chiefs right tackle Eric Winston could have stayed in the AFC West and signed with the San Diego Chargers, but the Union-Tribune San Diego’s Tom Krasovic writes that talks between the Chargers and Winston fell apart due to issues over his pay. Winston said, “things kind of fell through”, and the former Houston Texans standout is looking for $3 million to $4 million per year.
It seems like Winston’s free agent market is drier than it should be, because teams like the Dallas Cowboys have renounced their interest in the 29-year-old Miami product. Speaking of Miami, the tackle-needy Dolphins have also been linked to Winston, but it sounds like the ‘Fins are poised to trade up in the draft and take Lane Johnson- the San Diego Chargers primary target with the 11th pick in the draft.
The fact that talks between Winston and the Chargers broke up over salary shows that Winston isn’t going to get what he wants financially from any team on the market. The best thing for him to do is probably sign a one-year deal and put himself in a position to get a big payday next free agency. That’s a gamble, though, but it doesn’t sound like there is much else for Winston to do. Actually, that sounds like what Winston wants to do; it’s just that no team is willing to give him enough for that one year. Winston isn’t looking for a long-term deal at all, so the issue is the fact that nobody is willing to even give him $3 million.
To me, Winston is worth that kind of money, especially for a team like the Chargers. Even if they do draft Johnson, they could still use another quality tackle on the line and on the right side. I would rather have Winston that Jerome Clary, and almost anybody is an upgrade over King Dunlap. The Chargers have such a huge need for a tackle that signing one and drafting Johnson would make sense, especially since it sounds like Winston is affordable. Philip Rivers has played behind an atrocious offensive line for too long, and that’s the main reason why he’s fallen so hard in terms of productivity. I wouldn’t be surprised if the beatings Rivers has taken in the pocket have also affected his play significantly.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter for more NFL updates and analysis @SorianoJoe.