AFC West: Ian Scott
Ryan G. from San Diego wants to know what the status is with San Diego restricted free agent Shawne Merriman.
Bill Williamson: Most of the attention in San Diego is on left tackle Marcus McNeill and receiver Vincent Jackson, who did not sign their restricted free-agent tenders by the deadline. The team then reduced their pay for the 2010 season. Both McNeill and Jackson are expected to conduct long contract holdouts. Merriman is different, because of his contract. Merriman’s 2010 pay schedule is more set. Merriman has worked with the team some this offseason even though he remains unsigned. Merriman doesn’t have much leverage since he is trying to regain the dominant form he enjoyed prior to his knee surgery in 2008. Merriman has to play in 2010 if he wants a big contract (from the Chargers or from another team) in 2011. So, it would be a surprise if Merriman stays away from the Chargers for long this summer.
Cory from Denver wants to know if the Broncos could activate Tim Tebow as a fullback on the 45-man roster early in his career.
BW: I don’t think so, Cody. Denver coach Josh McDaniels has said he will only use Tebow as a quarterback and not at any other position. If Tebow is on Denver’s 45-man game-day roster early in his career it will be as a quarterback. If Tebow makes fast progress, he’ll be on the 45-man roster on Sundays whether McDaniels activates two or three quarterbacks on game days.
J. Miller from Lewiston, Idaho wants to know if defensive tackle Ian Scott, who was just cut from San Diego, could end up in Kansas City:
BW: It’s something the Chiefs could look at. The Chiefs could use some veteran help in the middle of the defensive front. But Scott is far from a unit-changing player. He is a rotational player. If the Chiefs feel like they are a little thin at the spot, Scott could be an option. He was cut by the Chargers earlier in the week.
The biggest name on the list was defensive tackle Ian Scott. He started seven games last season. The other players dismissed by the team were running back Cory Jackson and receiver Jordyn Jackson.
Scott helped plug the hole at defensive tackle when Jamal Williams was hurt last season. With rookie Cam Thomas emerging, Scott was expendable. Expect Thomas to get quality playing time.
The Chargers’ run defense was a big problem in 2009. From my perspective, the defensive line was the culprit for this inability to consistently close down running lanes. What has changed so dramatically from a year ago to suggest that the problem has been corrected?
My impression of Cesaire is that he was perfect as a third defensive end behind Castillo and Igor Olshansky, who now plays for Dallas. But he isn’t powerful enough and doesn’t have the size to do it for a high number of snaps for an extended stretch of games.
I like Alfonso Boone, but he’s best suited to be used as a third defensive end, as Cesaire was. Boone is a good athlete and has above average pass-rush skills for a 3-4 end, but he doesn’t have the makeup to handle double teams and the grind of the trenches for the long haul.
Ian Scott is penciled in as the starter on the nose, but he is ordinary on a good day. He can hold down the fort, but surely is not going to make anyone forget about Jamal Williams, who now resides with AFC West rival Denver.
San Diego did look to get a steal in the fifth round in nose tackle prospect Cam Thomas. He has quite a bit of ability to handle this role, but rarely do rookie nose tackles enter this league and make a big impact. Plus, there is a reason he lasted as long as he did in the draft, which is mostly because of inconsistent play.
The Chargers do have some big-bodied projects in Ogemdi Nwagbuo and Vaughn Martin. Neither player has been spectacular when they have seen the field, but there is some ability there. San Diego needs one of these two or Thomas to really exceed expectations in 2010.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported San Diego has brought back Ian Scott. He signed a one-year deal. Scott is a decent backup player.
He signed during last season and ended up starting seven games. He has 16 tackles and one sack.
Scott, who played for San Diego defensive coordinator Ron Rivera in Chicago, will be best served as a rotational player. Expect San Diego to draft a nose tackle as soon as the first round.
Potential unrestricted free agents: P Mitch Berger, S Vernon Fox, T Brandon Gorin, Nick Greisen, G Ben Hamilton, G Russ Hochstein, DE Vonnie Holliday, CB Ty Law, WR Brandon Lloyd
Potential restricted free agents: LB Elvis Dumervil, OL Chris Kuper, WR Brandon Marshall, QB Kyle Orton, TE Tony Scheffler, DT Le Kevin Smith
Franchise player: None.
What to expect: The Broncos’ restricted class is talented. That will be the focus. It has been reported that Marshall, Orton, Dumervil, Scheffler and Kuper will all get one-year tenders. Marshall very well could be traded. It wouldn’t be a shock if Dumervil gets some action on the restricted market. Miami could be interested.
Potential unrestricted free agents: OL Andy Alleman, S Mike Brown, WR Chris Chambers, WR Terrance Copper, TE Sean Ryan, C Wade Smith, LB Mike Vrabel, WR Bobby Wade
Potential restricted free agents: RB Jackie Battle, QB Brodie Croyle, LB Derrick Johnson, LB Corey Mays, OL Ikechuku Ndukwe, OL Rudy Niswanger, OL Ryan O'Callaghan, S Jarrad Page
Franchise player: None.
What to expect: The Chiefs are interested in keeping some of their unrestricted free agents. General manager Scott Pioli said at the combine the team has been in contact with several of their free agents. Chambers is the focus. The team is trying to keep him. Brown and Vrabel could also return with new deals.
Potential unrestricted free agents: S Hiram Eugene, G Cornell Green, T Langston Walker, LB Sam Williams
Potential restricted free agents: LB Jon Alston, OL Khalif Barnes, LB Ricky Brown, LB Jon Condo, QB Charlie Frye, QB Bruce Gradkowski, LB Thomas Howard, RB Luke Lawton, OL Chris Morris, LB Kirk Morrison, CB Stanford Routt, RB Gary Russell
Franchise player: DE Richard Seymour.
What to expect: The Raiders franchised Seymour and signed kicker Sebastian Janikowski to a record deal, so they’ve already been busy. It will be interesting to see how they tender Howard and Morrison. The Raiders could use some new life at linebacker and this could be the start of it.
Potential unrestricted free agents: DT Alfonso Boone, TE Brandon Manumaleuna, C Dennis Norman, WR Kassim Osgood. T Jon Runyan, DT Ian Scott, TE Kris Wilson
Potential restricted free agents: OL Jeromey Clary, LB Tim Dobbins, WR Malcom Floyd, DT Antonio Garay, OL Eric Ghiaciuc, LB Marques Harris, WR Vincent Jackson, DT Travis Johnson, OL Marcus McNeill, LB Shawne Merriman, RB Darren Sproles, QB Charlie Whitehurst
Franchise player: None
What to expect: The Chargers have their hands full. It’s been reported they will give high tenders to Jackson, Merriman, McNeill and Floyd. Jackson and McNeill could still attract some interest on the restricted market. Sproles is not expected to be tendered, making him a free agent. The Chargers want him back. But if Sproles hits the open market, the multifaceted weapon could be scooped up quickly.
An early look at the free-agent situation in the AFC West.
Note: These projected lists reflect notable unrestricted free agents for each team. The NFL will not issue an official list of free agents until the signing period begins March 5.
Unrestricted free agents: P Mitch Berger, S Vernon Fox, T Brandon Gorin, Nick Greisen, G Ben Hamilton, G Russ Hochstein, DE Vonnie Holliday, CB Ty Law, WR Brandon Lloyd.
Key figures: There isn’t much here. The team could bring back Hochstein, Holliday and Law, but they are all complementary pieces. It’s all about the restricted free-agent class in Denver. The Broncos have to figure out what they are going to do with receiver Brandon Marshall, defensive end Elvis Dumervil, quarterback Kyle Orton and tight end Tony Scheffler.
Kansas City Chiefs
Unrestricted free agents: S Mike Brown, WR Chris Chambers, WR Terrance Copper, TE Sean Ryan, C Wade Smith, LB Mike Vrabel, WR Bobby Wade,
Key figures: Chambers will be Kansas City's priority. He gave the Chiefs’ offense a big spark after he was claimed off waivers in November. The team’s brass really likes what Brown and Vrabel bring to the team and both could be back in Kansas City at the right price. Wade also could be brought back.
Unrestricted free agents: Hiram Eugene, G Cornell Green, K Sebastian Janikowski, DE Richard Seymour, T Langston Walker, LB Sam Williams
Key figures: It’s all about Seymour and Janikowski. The Raiders are trying to get long-term deals with both players done. If new deals aren’t struck, watch for Oakland to put the franchise and transition tags on them. Oakland will do anything it can not to lose either player.
San Diego Chargers
Unrestricted free agents: DT Alfonso Boone, TE Brandon Manumaleuna, C Dennis Norman, WR Kassim Osgood. T Jon Runyan, DT Ian Scott, TE Kris Wilson
Key figures: The team would like to bring back Osgood, one of the best special-teams players in the NFL. But Osgood wants a chance to be a receiver and the opportunity might not be in San Diego. The Chargers will spend most of their energy on their restricted class. The priorities are receiver Vincent Jackson, tackle Marcus McNeill, linebacker Shawne Merriman, running back Darren Sproles and receiver Malcom Floyd.
San Diego’s Malcolm Floyd is starting for Chris Chambers at receiver. Chambers has been dealing with an ankle injury and he is not having a productive season. He is active Sunday.
San Diego inside linebacker Kevin Burnett is out with an ankle injury for the second straight week. He is being replaced by Tim Dobbins.
San Diego defensive tackle Ian Scott is starting for Ogemdi Nwagbuo, who has been dealing with an ankle injury.
Oakland receiver Chaz Schilens is out because of a setback in his return from a broken foot. He has been out for 10 weeks.
Guard Robert Gallery is inactive. The team was hopeful he could play for the first time since suffering a broken leg in Week 2.
It is 74 degrees with perfect conditions in San Diego.
The San Diego Chargers just announced their final cuts.
I will follow up with an analysis post soon. But here’s the list:
The San Diego Chargers released 21 players today and placed DE Ryon Bingham on Reserve-Injured (arm) to reach the NFL’s mandatory 53-player roster limit. The following players were released:
LB Eric Bakhtiari
WR Gary Banks
LB Darry Beckwith
CB Simeon Castille
T Corey Clark
DE Andre Coleman
TE Charles Davis
G Ray Feinga
G Kynan Forney
DE Keith Grennan
LB James Holt
DT Rashaad Jackson
FB Billy Latsko
WR Charly Martin
C Ryan McDonald
RB Kestahn Moore
DT Ian Scott
T L.J. Shelton
CB Antonio Smith
P Truman Spencer
TE Kory Sperry
My take: Marshall has done some nice things in the community, despite all of his baggage away from the field. He works with at risk kids as he tries to lead them on the straight and narrow. Yet, Marshall has to help himself stay on the straight and narrow. Perhaps the work with children will provide Marshall extra motivation to stay out of trouble.
My take: Thigpen has always had a good attitude. This is the right approach to take. He has little chance to be beat out Cassel but Thigpen needs to keep motivated. If he performs well in the preseason, perhaps a team with an unsettled quarterback situation could make a run at Thigpen.
My take: It might be worthwhile to keep tabs on Scott. He was a solid performer for Chicago earlier in his career. He played for current San Diego defensive coordinator Ron Rivera in Chicago. Scott and Rivera had a good working relationship there. Perhaps Rivera will ignite Scott's career and he can become a valuable part of the Chargers' rotation on the defensive line.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
SAN DIEGO -- Here are the inactive players for tonight's showdown in the AFC West in the winner-takes-the-division game between the Broncos and the Chargers:
Denver Broncos Inactives
San Diego Chargers Inactives
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
SAN DIEGO -- Here are the inactives for tonight's game:
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
The Chargers brought in veteran Ian Scott on Tuesday.
To make room for Scott, the Chargers cut rookie cornerback DeJuan Tribble. The Boston College product was a sixth-round pick. If he isn't claimed, Tribble is a likely candidate for the San Diego practice squad.
Scott is reunited with San Diego inside linebackers coach Ron Rivera. He was the Chicago defensive coordinator when Scott had his best years. Scott has also been with Philadelphia and Carolina. In San Diego, he will likely work in the rotation.