It is not a surprise that Hardwick is coming back. He is the anchor to the offensive line, and he wanted to return. Yet, there were some question marks, because he nearly got to the start of free agency, which opens at 4 p.m. ET.
The team will now try to sign receiver Vincent Jackson, tackle Jared Gaither, running back Mike Tolbert, defensive tackle Antonio Garay and some outside free agents. The team had about $20 million in cap room before the Hardwick deal. Terms of his deal are not currently known. Signing Hardwick is a good start to free agency in San Diego.
Meanwhile, former Chargers special-teams ace Kassim Osgood is being released in Jacksonville. The Chargers love him, and their special teams suffered when he was gone. I could see the team making a run at him.
UPDATE: The Chargers announced they have cut cornerback Dante Hughes, linebacker Everette Brown, linebacker Nate Triplett and receiver Bryan Walters. No surprises there.