We have our first big AFC West news Tuesday with guard Louis Vasquez going from San Diego to Denver in NFL free agency.
This is a move that strengthens the best team in the division and hurts the Chargers.
Vasquez is considered a tough, hard-nosed player and a solid pro. He signed for four years with a deal worth nearly $6 million a year. I would think this means the end of the Chris Kuper era in Denver. Kuper has been dealing with injuries, and there had been talk that Orlando Franklin would move from right tackle to guard.
Now, I’d expect Vasquez and Franklin to combine to be one of the better run-blocking right sides of a line. Both are big road graders.
I know the Chargers want to get more athletic on the offensive line, and they didn’t have much contact with Vasquez. But the truth is, he was their best offensive lineman, and the Chargers now may have as many as four holes on the O-line. This is a position group that has to be addressed soon.
In other AFC West news:
U-T San Diego is reporting the Chargers signed Dallas tight end John Phillips, who will likely play in a backup role. He has 30 catches in three NFL seasons.
The Alex Smith trade to Kansas City from San Francisco, as expected, became official.
The Chargers claimed running back Fozzy Whittaker, who was cut by the Cardinals on Monday. He was with new San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona. But Whittaker will have to prove he deserves a spot on San Diego's roster.
As expected, the Chargers cut defensive tackle Antonio Garay. The move saves them $5 million.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports Kansas City defensive end Glenn Dorsey will visit the 49ers.