The San Diego Chargers have signed free-agent SS Bob Sanders to a one-year deal, the team announced. Sanders recently visited the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets.
“We are all very excited to add Bob Sanders to our defense,” general manager A.J. Smith said. “We have always held him in high regard. He’s a smart, physical, instinctive player. His intensity and playmaking ability can make an immediate impact on our defense.”
Sanders, who was recently released by the Indianapolis Colts, played in nine regular season games over the past three seasons due to injury. He was signed through the 2012 season. He carried a base salary of $5.5 million for 2011 and $7 million for 2012. He also had $500,000 in workout bonuses in each of those two seasons. He missed all but one game last season due to a biceps injury.
Sanders, who turned 30 recently, started 46 of 48 career games, totaling 373 career tackles, 3.5 sacks, 13 passes defensed, three fumbles recovered, two fumbles forced and six interceptions. He earned NFL Defensive Player-of-the Year honors from the Associated Press in 2007. Sanders earned Pro Bowl honors for the 2005 and 2007 seasons.
“There’s no question I’m excited. The fact that Bob was available and excited about being here and then having it work out is great,” head coach Norv Turner said. “Our guys have unbelievable respect for him and what he’s done through the years. Certainly he knows what we’re capable of doing, so it’s a great fit.”
Sanders was originally selected in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Colts.
“When you do something like this obviously there’s some risk involved but the upside outweighs that,” Turner added. “He’s healthy and he’s excited about the opportunity.”