Chargers agreed to terms with OT Max Starks, formerly of the Steelers, on a one-year contract.
The longtime Steeler vaults to the top of the Chargers' depth chart at left tackle. OT Kevin Haslam was waived in a corresponding move. Haslam was part of the Bolts' revolving door on the blindside last season as Jared Gaither "battled" back and groin injuries. Starks was not effective for the Steelers in 2012, allowing a troubling 40 hurries according to Pro Football Focus' stats, but still has more to offer than King Dunlap. Left tackle remains a trouble spot for San Diego, which is likely looking at a long season under rookie GM Tom Telesco.
The Chargers haven't ruled out OLB Melvin Ingram (torn ACL) returning in 2013.
It's a nice thought, but Ingram is an extreme long-shot to suit up this season. Perhaps he'll be placed on injured reserve/designated for return if the Chargers avoid injuries to other key players in training camp, but that would be a best-case scenario. There's no point in rushing Ingram's recovery so he could play limited snaps in what will likely be meaningless late-season games.
The Chargers have "penciled in" Cam Thomas as the team's starting nose tackle.
Thomas has started just five games in his short career, but veterans Antonio Garay and Aubrayo Franklin are no longer sporting powder blue. It's Thomas' turn. The 6-foot-4, 335-pound behemoth could be looking at a nice pay day if he shows well in his new role. Thomas has one year left on his rookie deal. He'll be flanked by Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes on the defensive line.
Chargers WR Vincent Brown said his ankle is "100 percent."
Brown fractured his ankle last August. The Chargers are taking it easy on him during OTAs, but Brown expects to be full-go for training camp. Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander are running with the first team, but both Brown and rookie Keenan Allen could jump ahead of Floyd in due time. San Diego was planning to "feature" Brown last season, although there's now a new regime in town.
New Chargers pass-rusher Dwight Freeney expects to see snaps at both outside linebacker and defensive end.
"They'll run both (the 3-4 and 4-3)," Freeney said of the Chargers, who operate out of a 3-4 base. "They're willing to feature me and free me up to make plays. And they're going to put me in good matchups in the 3-4." Freeney's play slipped as a stand-up outside linebacker in Indianapolis last season, but the Chargers didn't sign him to put him in position to fail. He should get opportunities to put his hand in the dirt.
The Union-Tribune San Diego confirms OLB Larry English is a candidate for an expanded role.
The Chargers are desperate for linebackers with Melvin Ingram (ACL surgery) out for the year. Dwight Freeney was signed on Saturday and will replace Ingram in a pass-rushing role, but English is still expected to see an increase in defensive snaps. The 16th overall pick in 2009, English has been a massive bust to this point. He had a career-low 1.5 sacks in 14 games last season.
The Chargers could save $1.5 million against the cap by releasing Eddie Royal.
Royal and Robert Meachem were signed to multi-year contracts last spring, and both were colossal busts in 2012. Royal was always battling a hamstring injury, and he finished the season with just 23 grabs for 234 yards and a touchdown in ten games played. The Chargers have depth at receiver, and the team could use some money to go get a free agent left tackle like Max Starks.