Chargers rumors: Vaughn Martin will become free agent

Joe Robbins

Vaughn Martin plans to test the open market rather than immediately re-sign with the San Diego Chargers, according to one report.

San Diego Chargers defensive end Vaughn Martin will test the open market in free agency on Tuesday, according to Michael Gehlken of U-TSanDiego.com. Free agency opens when the new league year begins at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Martin and the Chargers have been in contract negotiations, but this report makes it sound like Martin is looking forward to gauging his value on the open market. He hasn't been talked about much this offseason, with guys like Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett set to hit the open market.

But he was productive last season. Martin started 12 games before going down with a groin injury that kept him out the rest of the season. He had 19 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble before suffering his season-ending injury. In 2011, he played in 16 games, had 47 tackles and one sack.

Those aren't eye-popping numbers by any means, but Martin should be regarded as a player with a lot of upside if given the right situation. It's unclear what his value would be on the open market, but it's probably a safe bet to assume that more than one team would be interested, just not likely at a big contract number.

The Chargers have Corey Liuget locking down one side as a defensive end, and it would appear that the job is Martin's for the taking on the other side if he does elect to re-sign with the Chargers, the team that drafted him four years ago.

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