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Mailbag: Which Free Agent Are You Most Excited About?

The three newly signed Chargers visit the facility for their first interviews and press conference.

Q: So which new Charger are you most excited to see this year?- CJ Bellows

A:  Of the players who signed a contract with the Chargers thus far, there is no one I am looking forward to seeing more than Antonio Gates.  There will never be a time I'm not excited to see the future Hall of Famer out on the field, and I can't wait for the moment he sets the all-time record for most touchdowns by a tight end.  But to answer your question on which new Charger I am most excited about, I would have to say Travis Benjamin.  The Bolts haven't had that pure speedster who can outright fly during my tenure with the team the past five seasons, and I think he can be a game changer.  I expect him to be highly productive, but even if he only has a handful of catches a game, the danger he possesses as a homerun threat will open things up for Gates, Keenan Allen and the rest of the team's weapons.

Q: Dwight Lowery won me over with his comments about Eric Weddle.  Happy he embraced the "challenge". Do you think he was a good pick up? - Boji Marmpa

A:  I was very impressed by Lowery as his thoughtful comments at his introductory press conference came from the heart. What I like most about that signing is how Lowery is a true ball hawk.  He had a career-high four interceptions last season, which were two more than all of the Chargers' safeties combined (Adrian Phillips and Jimmy Wilson each had one).  Lowery is also embracing a leadership role, and has already reached out to Jahleel Addae as he knows the chemistry between the two will be of the utmost importance.

Meanwhile, here are the new safety's comments about replacing Weddle if you haven't seen them yet:

"I know there are a lot of things being said about the safety position. It's going to be a challenge to replace the legend that is Eric Weddle (with) what he's done and established here.  But I'm ready for the challenge.  I appreciate the challenge. I feel like challenges bring out the best in all of us, and that's what I'm coming here for."

Q:  Do the signings of Casey Hayward and Dwight Lowery mean that Jalen Ramsey won't be drafted by the Bolts? – Nick Mitchell

A:  No free agent addition will rule out potential targets for the third overall selection or with any other pick.  Think back to 2012 when the team was loaded at wide receiver but still selected Keenan Allen since he was the top talent available.  Similarly, the addition of Travis Benjamin doesn't mean the team won't add a wideout in the draft, nor do the re-signings of Joe Barksdale or Chris Hairston mean the Bolts will rule out Laremy Tunsil, Ronnie Stanley or any other offensive lineman. Head Coach Mike McCoy alluded to this as well in regards to how free agency impacts the draft board:

"The board doesn't change. We still evaluate every player on what they have done in their college careers. We will select the best players to help us win. The draft is about getting the best talent."

Q: No question, but wanted to say I've really enjoyed the Mike McCoy live chats.– Dane Goodman

A:  Big thanks to Coach McCoy for making those live chats a regular part of the offseason.  For those who may have missed it, the head coach is chatting live with fans every couple weeks leading up to the NFL draft.  Make sure you check them out as he held his first one from the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, while he answered questions about the Bolts' free agent additions earlier this week.

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