Even if some free agents still haven’t gotten a team, training camp in the NFL means slots opening up every day through injuries. Melvin Ingram, the man the San Diego Chargers were counting on to be their main threat in the pass-rushing area, is out for the season with a torn ACL, which might mean the team will bring in someone to fill in his role. The names of Dwight Freeney and John Abraham, still available, are the first that come to mind.
Ingram played as an outside linebacker last season in the 3-4 defense the Chargers used, but his playing time and role was to be upgraded this year, but now his season is over in May. The Chargers still have Kendall Reyes and Corey Liuget as their pass-rush threat from inside the line; Larry English, entering his fifth season in the NFL, is a former first-round pick, but he hasn’t shown much since arriving in the league in 2009; rookie Tourek Williams, a sixth round pick, might find himself on the fast way lane into some major playing time as well.
But if the Chargers are serious about putting behind the past three seasons of failing to reach the playoffs, they need to spend some money on a more serious option. Someone proven, who can share the load with either English or Williams. John Abraham and Dwight Freeney are willing to lower their demands a bit, and they seem to be better options than what the Chargers have at the moment.
Abraham seemed to be on his way to sign a deal with the Tennessee Titans, but playing time is so far offering to be a stumbling block. The 13 year veteran wants to spend the majority of the game on the field, but the Titans want him in a very limited role. The Chargers, in a bit of a bind, might be able to give him the playing time he’s looking for.
There’s been less interest in Freeney of late because of his asking price, but he knows he’s going to have to drop it a bit in order to remain in the league. One issue involving both players is the position: The Chargers play a 3-4 defense, which didn’t really suit Dwight Freeney last season. Abraham should be a bit better as an outside linebacker, but the Chargers should consider that factor before adding an expensive old man onto the ship, hoping he can fill in for Ingram.