The San Diego Chargers are weighing up whether or not to burst the bank in order to keep right-guard, Louis Vasquez, from entering the free-agency.
While keeping the 25-year old at the franchise would appear to be a no-brainer, there are huge question marks as to whether Vasquez will be able to fit into the new-look offensive line that the Chargers have adapted.
After an injury-hit three years, Vasquez finished his first full season in the team as the Chargers’ best offensive lineman. 2012 may, however, be Vasquez’s last season in San Diego.
The appointment of Hal Hunter as offensive line coach has prompted the NFL betting odds writers to predict the Chargers will switch from the man-blocking scheme to a zone blocking one.
At 6ft 5in and 335 pounds, the youngster does many things well but covering ground quickly isn’t one of them. Zonal blocking doesn’t suit Vasquez’ game and that may force the Chargers to alternative options.
Rather than pay out a sizable figure to tie Vasquez to a new deal, that money may well be used to bring in players capable of fitting into the new system.
It would be tough for Chargers’ fans who bet on NFL to see another young, exciting player leave, especially since Vincent Jackson, Michael Turner, and Darren Sproles have all gone on to star in the NFL after leaving San Diego.
But that shouldn’t mean the franchise pay over the odds to keep a player who isn’t going to fit into the new way of things.
Another year without being in the play-offs showed that the Chargers need to make some changes, and losing a player like Vasquez may be one of those changes that needs to be made for the better good.