Chargers sign John Phillips, according to report

Ronald Martinez

San Diego hopes the blocking tight end can improve their offense next season.

The San Diego Chargers currently have one of the most prolific tight ends in NFL history, so don't confuse him with their latest free-agent signing. The new guy was probably not brought in to catch footballs like Antonio Gates, but is considered to be one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL.

More: Complete NFL free agency coverage

That player is John Phillips, and San Diego has reportedly signed him away from the Dallas Cowboys to play alongside Gates. While Gates has 642 career catches in ten seasons, Philips has 30 catches in three years with Dallas. He has instead made a reputation as a player behind Jason Witten that can come in and lay some heavy hits while catching the occasional pass. Phillips was a sixth-round pick in 2009 out of Virginia, and he missed all of 2010 with a torn ACL.

He has played in every other game he's been eligible for in his other three seasons and has caught two career touchdown passes.

For more on the Chargers, check out Bolts from the Blue

For San Diego, they'll be hoping to see Phillips help improve an offense that was ranked 31st in yardage in 2012 and 20th in scoring -- a far cry from the heyday under Philip Rivers, Gates, and others that had made San Diego an offense to be feared. Nobody is going to be confusing John Phillips with Gates, but that's not why he was signed. And this team still has a ways to go to improve to return to the playoffs.

They just inserted one piece of the puzzle on Tuesday.

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