Morning links: Free agency grades

March, 25, 2014
Mar 25
11:55
AM ET
Good morning. In this ESPN Insider piece Insider, ESPN NFL Insiders Bill Polian, Louis Riddick, Matt Williamson, Field Yates and Mike Sando grade the free-agent class of all 32 teams after the first two weeks of free agency.

So how did the San Diego Chargers do? The Insiders' panel gives the Chargers a C grade for the team's effort in free agency. Polian, who worked with Chargers general manager Tom Telesco in Indianapolis and drafted Donald Brown, liked the signing of the former Indianapolis Colts running back.

Along with Brown, San Diego signed linebacker Kavell Conner, quarterback Kellen Clemens, tight end David Johnson and cornerback Brandon Ghee.

The Chargers also retained their own free agents in re-signing linebacker Donald Butler, safety Darrell Stuckey, offensive lineman Chad Rinehart, cornerback Richard Marshall, linebacker Reggie Walker and receiver Seyi Ajirotutu.

Polian said it's tough to appreciate San Diego's free-agent signings if you focus on the big names. However, Polian was in the minority, as the panel felt indifferent at best with how the Chargers have performed so far in free agency.

“I'm not a big fan of Brown,” Riddick said. “Ghee has big upside but cannot stay healthy. They signed a couple really good special-teamers. What Tom Telesco is going to do will be very much like Bill [Polian]: pay a couple guys, make it very specific to your quarterback, pay a corner, pay your pass-rushers and more than likely, they are going to come through the draft. I don't think they feel a rush even though Philip Rivers is not a spring chicken.”

Joel Corry of the National Football Post examines five marketplace developments that took place in free agency, including a soft running back market. Brown and Toby Gerhart established the top of that market by signing three-year deals worth a little over $10 million.

According to Pro Football Focus, San Diego tight end Antonio Gates had seven drops on 84 catchable targets in 2013, while Chargers receiver Vincent Brown had one drop on 42 catchable targets.

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com profiles Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard.

NFL.com fantasy writer Michael Fabiano ranks Keenan Allen the No. 1 receiver in terms of fantasy of receivers entering their second season.

Eric D. Williams

ESPN San Diego Chargers reporter

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