The San Diego Chargers have scheduled a visit with free agent defensive end and outside linebacker Dwight Freeney, according to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego. Freeney will make his visit with the team on Wednesday, less than a day after Melvin Ingram tore his ACL in non-contact organized team activities.
Freeney is essentially the only remaining pass rusher on the market and is probably the best option for the Chargers at this point. Over at Bolts From The Blue, they note the dire situation they're in with Ingram's injury, pointing out that the outside linebacker depth chart now includes Larry English and Jarret Johnson as starters.
Ingram was slated to be the starter heading into this season, and as a first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, he was expected to make an impact in his sophomore campaign. Guys like Shaun Phillips and Antwan Barnes played the position last season, but both players left for other destinations in free agency.
San Diego is hurting for cap space at the moment, and Freeney has been adamant that he won't come cheap. Initially, he wanted a deal that would pay him approximately $8 million in 2013-14, but reduced that number to something more reasonable at the end of April. The reduced number would be in line with what the Atlanta Falcons paid Osi Umenyiora, who received a two-year, $8 million deal.
Since lowering his asking price, Freeney has scheduled visits with the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos, though it's unclear which of those teams he has visited. It was only a matter of time before he would get picked up post-NFL Draft, but the Chargers have definitely rocketed to the top of the list of teams in need of his services.
Last season, Freeney only managed five sacks, the second-lowest total of his career. At 33 years old, he's not likely to put up the double-digit sack numbers he's known for, and outside linebacker is clearly not the best position for him, but he'll still be a much better option for San Diego than the guys behind Ingram. It would not be surprising if he ends up in San Diego.