The San Diego Chargers announced today that they hosted Safety Jermaine Phillips for two days, hoping to sign the veteran free agent. While Phillips left San Diego Tuesday to visit Seattle, the Chargers are still very much in he mix to acquire his services.
As we pointed out almost a month ago, Jermaine Phillips would make an excellent addition to the San Diego Chargers defense, providing an immediate upgrade in both talent and leadership. Phillips has played an important role for Tampa Bay over the years, helping to lead a very strong Buccaneers backfield.
"Jermaine is a talented, physical veteran and we were excited to have an opportunity to get to know him better. He's played a role on some very good defenses. We enjoyed visiting with him." - Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith
The ball is essentially in Phillips' court at this point. As one of the better defensive backs left in free agency, Phillips has the opportunity to shop around a little. He headed to Seattle Tuesday but as of this post no signing has been announced. Phillips has ties in Seattle; Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley used to coach Phillips in Tampa Bay.
You could make the argument that the Chargers need Phillips more than he needs the Chargers. San Diego is desperate to upgrade the safety position after Clinton Hart failed miserably last year as a full-time starter. The Chargers have a young secondary and could use an infusion of leadership that a veteran like Phillips can provide. Outside of Jammer and Weddle, the secondary also was susceptible to being run over...Phillips' excellent run support would shore up that weakness immediately.
As far as I'm concerned, I think the Chargers cannot allow Jermaine Phillips to get away from them. The team would be much better off signing a veteran safety rather than trying to address the need in this year's draft. I think the team has done wonderfully to publicly announce their activities in free agency, but they need to step up and make sure they sign Phillips. Do not let this guy get away.
"I like to say I'm a human sacrifice. I throw my body in there at will for the team. I love to do it. That's my role, and that's what I'm going to do." - Jermaine Phillips on his approach to the game
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