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Chargers dip into free agent basket

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After making their first AFC playoff appearance this past January following a three-year drought, the San Diego Chargers appear to be on course to challenging both the rival Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs in the coming years for AFC West supremacy.

Having swept the Chiefs this past regular season, that to go along with a split in the regular season series with the AFC Champion Broncos (Denver won the playoff meeting and first regular season match up), the Chargers are indicating that things are only going to get better in the immediate future.

With that in mind, the Bolts have dipped into the free agency market in order to beef up their team, hoping to not only do battle with the Broncos and Chiefs, but also other AFC contenders like the Patriots, Bengals and Ravens to name a few.

Over the past few days, San Diego added some depth at the running back position, scooping up former Indianapolis Colt Donald Brown.

During his career, Brown (2009 draft pick of the Colts out of Connecticut) has amassed 2,237 yards rushing (551 carries), including 537 yards and six TD's this past season in Indy.

In comments on Twitter after his signing was announced, Brown tweeted - Couldn't be more excited for the next chapter. It's a privilege to be on board with the @chargers. #BoltUp. In saying goodbye to the Colts, Brown tweeted - #ColtsNation and the great city of Indianapolis. It was an absolute honor and pleasure playing for the shoe. Thanks for the memories.

Meantime, the Chargers also reported the signing of tight end David Johnson of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Johnson, who was also a product of the 2009 draft (Steelers chose him from Arkansas State). finished his 2013 campaign for the Black and Gold with four receptions for 70 yards (career numbers are 22 catches, 216 yards, one TD).

Clearly, Johnson is not going to be the go-to tight end for Philip Rivers, especially if future Hall-of-Famer Antonio Gates and emerging Ladarius Green put together solid efforts in 2014. That said, it certainly does not hurt to have another body in there that can catch some passes and also pass block down the field.

Lastly, most fans by now know that former Charger Darren Sproles and the New Orleans Saints are about as close right now as Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin.

So, could Charger fans see Sproles back in the Blue and Gold come 2014?

Although he would certainly make a nice one-two tandem with running back/specialist Danny Woodhead, could Sproles and the Chargers come to a financial arrangement? Secondly, would there be enough balls for Sproles to get his hands on with Woodhead and now Brown in the mix, not to mention starter Ryan Mathews?

Sproles (played with Chargers from 2005-2010) told ESPN.com on Wednesday, "I want to get released. I don't want to be traded. I don't know where they would send me because I have no control over it, and I want to be able to pick."

The Saints recently resigned running back Pierre Thomas (549 yards rushing on 147 carries, two TD's in 2013) to a two-year deal.

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