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The following players are heading into the 2009 NFL season as free agents:
Offensive Tackle Jeromey Clary 2009: Restricted Free Agent
Wide Receiver Malcom Floyd 2009: Restricted Free Agent
Cornerback Cletis Gordon 2009: Restricted Free Agent
Offensive Guard Mike Goff 2009: Free Agent
Outside Linebacker Marques Harris 2009: Free Agent
Center Jeremy Newberry 2009: Free Agent
Running Back Darren Sproles 2009: Free Agent
The only guy I think the Chargers will not have interest in resigning would be Jeremy Newberry. He's on his last legs (knees) and he'll probably retire after this season. The Chargers will look to bring in a Center via the draft or free agency to back up Nick Hardwick.
Marques Harris could be resigned, but the Chargers are expecting to have Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips are their starters next year, and Antwan Applewhite and Jyles Tucker are expected to back them up. The Chargers will probably add to the linebacking corp in the draft so Harris may or may not be a priority free agent for them.
I expect Malcom Floyd to be resigned. He had a career season, catching four touchdown passes and gaining 465 yards receiving. In fact, he and Chris Chambers had almost identical season (Chambers caught five touchdowns with 462 yards). Craig Davis is quickly becoming a non-factor in San Diego, so expect Floyd to come back next year and be a reliable target for Philip Rivers.
Cletis Gordon may or may not resign with the Chargers. My only concern is he may desire a chance to start, and there's probably not the opportunity to do so here in San Diego. The Chargers would certainly like to keep him as Quentin Jammer's primary backup, so I expect them to make him a priority free agent.
Starting right offensive guard Mike Goff was brought in as a free agent under AJ Smith and has not missed a start in five years. At 32 years old, Goff is nearing the twilight of his career but he still has gas in the tank. Fans have mixed opinions when it comes to Mike Goff's value to the team, but he is a starter in this league. If the Chargers choose not to resign Goff, they had need to be quite sure that they have someone, or will find someone, who is a better player. I think Goff will come back for another year or two if the Chargers don't win the SuperBowl this year.
Jeromey Clary in my mind is priority resign. Clary has made some mistakes this year, but there is an awful lot to like about him from a physical and mental standpoint. Clary is still developing as a player and will continue to get better. I think the Chargers need to keep him around and if they invest in him, I am sure Clary will prove to be a solid starter in this league for years to come.
Darren Sproles is perhaps the Chargers biggest priority heading into free agency. Whatever doubts I had about Sproles as a return man have been answered this year, and I think the change of pace he offers on offense. I do not see him as an every down back, but rather I compare him to what Kevin Faulk offered the Patriots for so many years. The Chargers probably don't see Sproles as Tomlinson's primary backup either, but I hope they find a way to keep him around.
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