Monday, March 3, 2014
New Chargers deals for Rinehart, Marshall?
By Eric D. Williams
With the San Diego Chargers locking up the team’s top priority in re-signing inside linebacker Donald Butler to a multi-year deal, the team can now turn toward bringing back some other pending free agents before the start of free agency on March 11.
Two players that should receive some attention from the Chargers’ brass are offensive lineman Chad Rinehart and cornerback Richard Marshall. Both players proved their value down the backstretch of the 2013 season by producing when thrust into the starting lineup.
And bringing back both players should not break the bank and would help fill positions of need, giving San Diego a chance to find a long-term answer at offensive guard and cornerback in this year’s draft.
Rinehart, 28, missed five games with a toe injury, but San Diego’s offensive line play improved when he returned to the starting lineup during the second half of the season.
A third-round selection by Washington in the 2008 draft, the Northern Iowa product signed a one-year deal with the Chargers during the 2013 offseason as an unrestricted free agent.
Rinehart started 11 games [eight at left guard and three at right guard] and played 638 offensive snaps for the Chargers during the regular season. Rinehart also started at left guard in both playoff games.
Take a look back at some of Ryan Mathews’ most explosive runs from the 2013 season, including here and here, and you’ll find Rinehart clearing a running lane.
Marshall, 29, solidified the cornerback position after Derek Cox lost his starting job with five games left in the regular season.
A second-round selection by Carolina in the 2006 draft, Marshall signed with the Chargers in August after being released by Miami at the end of training camp. Marshall started five regular-season games and both postseason contests for San Diego.
Marshall played in 603 defensive snaps in the regular season, finishing fourth on the team in tackles with 71. Marshall also totaled six pass defections and a forced fumble.
I understand that Marshall did give up some big plays. However, for the most part he was assignment correct, and I think his experience and the way he prepares could help younger players