The San Diego Chargers have invited free agent pass-rusher Dwight Freeney to visit, after losing outside linebacker Melvin Ingram for the season. Freeney's visit was reported by U-T San Diego, after Chargers.com confirmed Ingram has torn his ACL.
Taking the first steps to signing Freeney is a smart move by the Chargers. Ingram's loss robs the defense of its only real pure pass-rusher.
The Chargers are well-stocked on the inside. Linebackers Donald Butler and rookie Manti Te'o will form a punishing duo.
San Diego also boast considerable talent along the interior of the defensive line. Young tackles Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes have the potential to dominate.
However, without Ingram, there is little threat from the edges. Even at 33, Freeney remains a dynamic outside pass-rusher.
His initial quickness is still good and Freeney has also retained his natural leverage and immediate power. He only managed five sacks in 2012, but boasts 107.5 quarterback takedowns for his career.
Part of Freeney's problem last season could be attributed to a slightly new position. The Indianapolis Colts switched to a version of the 3-4 and moved Freeney to outside linebacker.
He was required to play in space more often and that wasted his natural pass-rushing expertise. Of course Freeney might experience the same issues in San Diego.
The Chargers also operate a hybrid 3-4 scheme. However, they do utilize four-man looks and could make great use of Freeney as a situational pass-rusher.
Defensive coordinator John Pagano can rely on veteran Jaret Johnson and draft flop Larry English to man the edges in base sets.
If the Chargers hope to be the main competition to the Denver Broncos in the AFC West, signing Freeney to apply pressure to Peyton Manning, now seems like a must.