Every NFL player will become a free agent at some point in time.
Deciding where to sign is one of the most important decisions he will make in his career.
After nine seasons as a vital cog in the Seattle Seahawks' top-ranked defense, nose tackle Brandon Mebane found himself in this very position. Like every player, his hope was to land somewhere that fit his skillset with a team that truly coveted him.
While numerous suitors reached out to his agent, the Chargers' aggressiveness in their courtship of Mebane is a key reason he decided to join the Bolts.
"They came on very strong right off the bat," he said. "They were the most aggressive and made it clear they really wanted me. I felt like it was a good situation, so I wanted to go to San Diego. I'm looking forward to bringing some excitement out here! It's a new year, a new team and a new defense. I'm ready to have fun."
It's easy to understand why the Chargers made a strong push for Mebane, who inked a three-year deal to join the Bolts. The 6-1, 311-pound anchor is strong at the point of attack and tough to move off the snap. He has totaled 349 tackles and 15.5 sacks in 131 career games, including 126 straight starts.
Mebane was able to speak with Defensive Coordinator John Pagano once the new league year officially began after 1:00pm PST on Wednesday. That conversation crystalized that the nose tackle was a perfect fit for the Bolts.
"Coach Pagano told me he wanted me to play like I played in Seattle," he said. "I appreciated that because I take pride in how I play. I take pride in running to the ball and trying to make plays. I am technique sound and stay in my gap, so it shouldn't be a hard transition for me."
Another factor in his decision was the talent already in place, especially the teammate he figures to line up next to on Sundays.
"Corey Liuget is a very talent player. I like him a lot. He has a great get off, uses his hands well and senses where the football is. I think he is a great player."
The Bolts coveted Mebane for reasons beyond his playing ability. A respected leader in Seattle, the team is counting on him to provide a veteran voice in the locker room.
"I know that is part of the deal," he said. "I just want to give my teammates any advice they need or answer any questions they have about football or anything else. It is important to be there for them. When we're on the field, I always try to relay to the other guys on the defensive line and linebackers where to line up and play the gaps. Play fundamentally sound and don't try to do anything extra. Just play football. We all depend on each other, so it will all work out if we do that."
Check out some top photos of new Chargers player Brandon Mebane