Morning links: Practice squad expansion

Good morning. The NFL recently announced that practice squads would be expanded from eight to 10 players for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Under the new rules, the NFL is also expanding eligibility for players who have earned no more than two accrued seasons of free agency credit. Prior to that, a player who earned one or more accrued seasons would not be eligible for the practice squad unless the player spent fewer than nine games on a club's 46-man game-day roster in each of his accrued seasons.

The expansion of the practice squad will help the San Diego Chargers keep around players battling for spots at the back end of the roster, including running backs such as Branden Oliver and Marion Grice, outside linebacker Tourek Williams or offensive tackle Michael Harris.

In this ESPN Insider pieceInsider, NFL Insider Mike Sando lists Chargers tight end Ladarius Green as part of his top 50 breakout players for the upcoming season.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times offers a compelling read on how Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is handling the death of his sister Pam.

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com offers a scouting report on the San Diego-San Francisco matchup.

Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego says that Malcom Floyd is San Diego’s training camp MVP.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com is bullish on the Chargers for the upcoming season, saying that San Diego can return to the postseason.

According to Forbes magazine, the Chargers are valued at $995 million, No. 26 in the NFL.

Darren Smith of The Mighty 1090 AM radio talks with Brandon Flowers in this audio link.

Bill Barnwell of Grantland provides some reasons not to get excited about how good teams look in the preseason.