Chargers lose Vasquez, agree with Dunlap, Phillips

March 13, 2013

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Diego Chargers agreed to terms with tight end John Phillips and tackle King Dunlap on the opening day of free agency, while losing right guard Louis Vasquez to the AFC West rival Denver Broncos.

The Chargers also claimed running back Fozzy Whittaker off waivers from Arizona on Tuesday.

New general manager Tom Telesco said the Chargers had prepared for the possibility of Vasquez leaving as an unrestricted free agent.

"There was not a whole lot of feedback coming from their side. We told them we definitely wanted him back, but we didn't get that feeling from them," Telesco said.

"I knew when I got here that if Louis tested the market, that we've got to be prepared if he walks," said Telesco, hired in January after A.J. Smith was fired. "We've been working on this for a month. It's not a surprise. We would have loved to have had him back, but we're already working on moving forward."

Vasquez got a four-year contract from the Broncos worth $23.4 million, with $13 million of that guaranteed.

"We've got a number of holes we have to fill. That number may have hamstrung us moving forward," Telesco said. "We'll be all right moving forward."

Johnnie Troutman is a possibility at right guard, Telesco said. Troutman, a fifth-round draft pick last year, missed the 2012 season while recovering from a torn pectoral muscle.

Dunlap has played left and right tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Telesco reiterated that rebuilding the line, which was a trouble spot last year, is "going to be a long process" that will include free agency, the draft and possibly trades.

Whittaker spent the final two weeks of last season on Arizona's practice squad. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in the ninth game of his senior season at Texas in 2011. He went undrafted and unsigned in 2012 until landing with Cardinals following a tryout in December. Arizona's head coach at the time, Ken Whisenhunt, is now the Chargers' offensive coordinator.

Phillips had been with Dallas.

Telesco confirmed that Jerraud Powers is scheduled to visit the Chargers on Wednesday.

Also Tuesday, kicker Nick Novak signed a four-year contract to remain with the Chargers. The sides agreed to the deal on Saturday.