SAN DIEGO – The 2012 league year and free agency opens Tuesday.
Expect a rush of moves around the NFL, followed by steady patter until a few weeks before April’s draft. But it may seem like child’s play to General Manager A.J. Smith, Assistant General Manager Ed McGuire and executives around the league compared with last year’s sudden frenzy days before training camp.
San Diego signed 45 players between July 26 and August 3 as the NFL and NFLPA reached a labor agreement as assembling rosters and launching training camp practices happened concurrently.
The Chargers retained 14 of their own free agents, an important figure after labor negotiations eliminated organized offseason work. Many of those players were standouts last season.
“I am very proud of the front office, scouting department and coaching staff. Everyone had input into this plan,” Smith said following the signing period. “But the most valuable player of this operation, without a doubt, is Ed McGuire. He balanced a lot of things effectively and fast.”
News will spill forth fast in the next two weeks for San Diego, but nothing like last year’s truncated fireworks show. The Chargers already have announced Pro Bowl left guard Kris Dielman’s retirement, released defensive end Luis Castillo and decided against using the Franchise tag on Jackson, though the team remains interested in re-signing the latter two players.
Other Chargers who will become free agents March 13 unless they sign with San Diego before then include center