The Chargers Make A Move For Hard-Hitting Bob Sanders

The Chargers took a big step toward addressing one of their biggest offseason needs and solidifying their defensive backfield by agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with former Colts safety Bob Sanders. The question you have to ask now is whether the Bolts are getting the superstar Sanders of 2007, or the super-injured Sanders of 2008-2010?

In 2007, Sanders had a career year with 96 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, and a number of bone-crushing hits on the opposition, ultimately leading to the NFL Defensive Player Of The Year award. Subsequently, Sanders signed a five-year contract with Indianapolis and looked to be a key component in the Colts defense for years to come.

In retrospect, the 2007 Sanders and the Sanders who played the next three years seem like two totally different guys. Over the last three years Sanders has played in just nine regular season games, never topping 39 tackles in one year. Since 2008, he has suffered ankle, knee, and biceps injuries, and has missed way too much time to make a significant difference for the Colts.

A healthy Sanders could make a tremendous difference for the Chargers, who have lacked a real “Hitman” in the secondary since Rodney Harrison was prematurely dismissed from San Diego too many years ago. His abilities as a strong safety, when healthy, can’t be questioned, and his run support may be second to none. And it is that physical type of play that may always leave him at a high-risk for further injury.

Overall I love the move and believe that the risk is well worth the potential Pro Bowl caliber play that Sanders can bring with him. With Eric Weddle a probable free agent, the safety position is one of the biggest question marks on the team. The signing of Sanders is just the bold move that Chargers fans have been waiting to see from AJ Smith & Company in a very important offseason.

So Chargers fans, do you think that Sanders can stay healthy enough to make a difference for the team in 2011? And after addressing the safety position, where do you think the Chargers should go from here? Sound off below and tell the team what you think!

March 3, 2011

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Bryan M. said... Mar 3, 2011, 9:47:00 PM

With the Sanders signing, I hope AJ intends to keep Weddle as well. Would love to see a Sanders-Weddle safety pairing! It would also give Stuckey some time to learn and develop behind one of the best SS in the game when healthy.

jjamesnaz said... Mar 3, 2011, 10:59:00 PM

I like the move. It will be great to have Weddle and Sanders playing at the safeties. A team would have to be willing to give up a first round pick to take Weddle away from us, and Weddle has to be the Chargers top priority at this point

JUSTUS said... Mar 4, 2011, 6:29:00 AM

What a difference Sanders will make if he can stay healthy. He may be the leader on defense we have lacked the last couple of years. Weddle? He's not going anywhere. Good player:Good attitude:Good team guy: and Good citizen!

Anthony M. Blake said... Mar 4, 2011, 7:17:00 AM

This is such a smart signing. Of course it is accompanied by the well-known injury caveat, but the potential is there for this to be a huge impact acquisition. In A.J. we trust (again)?

Jeff Williams said... Mar 4, 2011, 7:41:00 AM

I think it has to help AJ's reputation among Chargers fans, at least a little. Not that he really gives a crap!

Mark said... Mar 4, 2011, 8:35:00 AM

I agree with the other poster's here. Weddle is Aj's boy that he moved-up in the draft to get him and he has matured steadily. He's not going anywhere. Sanders, if healthy, will be a force, IF he can stay healthy.

Mark said... Mar 4, 2011, 8:53:00 AM

And of course, the Redskins overpaid for Oshiomogho Atogwe, who was mentioned in another post on BolThype as a potential signing. Dan Snyder will be paying him 26 million for 5 years- ouch!

I think the Bob Sanders deal is smarter (1 yera for him to prove himself again) less risk, and of course with tremendous upside if he stays healthy. Sadly, if he does real well, don't count on AJ re-signing him to a big, long contract but, I give AJ a lot of credit for at least taking a chance on him. I guess he looked good in workouts.

Winslowfan said... Mar 5, 2011, 7:29:00 AM

"A healthy Sanders could make a tremendous difference for the Chargers, who have lacked a real “Hitman” in the secondary since Rodney Harrison was prematurely dismissed from San Diego too many years ago. " AMEN, we need a hit here and there. Oh the days of Junior and Rodney

arnie said... Mar 7, 2011, 4:36:00 PM

is this the point where i come in and eat my words? AJ got a "big name" free agent, for needed a position, so we should be happy. right? let's take a closer look, but i'll be brief. Bob Sanders comes cheap. period. granted having him, with his experience would help immensely with other players. But the Chargers, again, are being short sighted and trying to spin this as a good move. let me esplain.

Bob Sanders has played nine, that's 9 games over three seasons, or 48 games. This is not a destination for Bob, he's just passing through. cenerio one; bob proves he can stay healthy, plays well and he moves on to a bigger long term deal, and the Chargers don't even try to extend a "REAL" offer to keep his services. cenerio two; Bob plays a few games, then helps keep the team doctor an trainers employed while on IR, for the rest of the season. meanwhile the organization still has to pay him, while AJ goes to find a another woefully talented FA scrub off the streets to replace him. either way in the end the Chargers are back at square one hoping their signed Safeties can pick up the slack, again.

the AJ, Norv era is winding down to it's end. mark my words.

ChargerBlogger said... Mar 8, 2011, 7:57:00 AM

Let me try one more scenario- Sanders comes in and plays a very specific role on specific packages. He basically splits time with the Chargers Plan B option, most likely Darrell Stuckey, while grooming Stuckey to play a bigger role in the future. Sanders is not a Franchise player at this point, so don't expect him to be. I'm optimistic for the potential he brings because the Chargers are playing for 2011 this season, not 2012 and beyond.

That being said, this move in itself is not good enough. AJ needs to do more to solidify a defense with a lot of potential holes.

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