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Osgood believes he's more than special-teamer

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Recent posts by Michael Blunda

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Posted Feb. 21, 2010 @ 11:55 a.m. ET
By Michael Blunda

This is the fourth in a series of scouting reports on 15 key players who are slated to become free agents — restricted or unrestricted — March 5, unless they are re-signed or franchised before then.

News: A Charger for his entire seven-year career, Osgood will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Although he enjoys the San Diego area and has become a well-liked member of the community, Osgood desires to play more at wide receiver, a position he has seen minimal snaps at over the past five seasons. Since the Chargers have at least three wideouts clearly ahead of him on the depth chart in Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee, it's unlikely Osgood will get his wish if he remains with the club. Odds are, a team willing to give the star special-teamer a chance to catch passes will secure his services.

Notes: Osgood, an undrafted player out of San Diego State, has developed into one of the NFL's premier special-teams players. He has been named to the AFC's Pro Bowl roster three times in the past four years, becoming one of the more dominant players at his position and helping the Bolts have solid coverage units. However, since his first two seasons, he has seen little time at receiver, making just five receptions for 61 yards and zero touchdowns from '05 to now. Desiring to show he's more than just a special-teams standout, he asked to be traded last offseason, but the Chargers did not receive an acceptable offer.

Positives: Clocking in at 6-5 and 220 pounds, Osgood has tremendous size for a receiver, able to tower over shorter defenders and beat them on jump balls. He's also a very smart player and has a good feel for the game. That comes in handy on special teams, as he has become adept at anticipating how returns will unfold and where punts will land, and he has the necessary instincts to make tackles on the fly.

Negatives: Being so big hurts Osgood in the speed department, as his lack of burst doesn't allow him to get much separation in the passing game. He never has been known as a good route runner, either, limiting his potential impact as a wideout. Set to turn 30 years old in May, the chances aren't good that Osgood suddenly becomes a dependable pass catcher at this point in his career.

Risk factor: Moderate. Osgood certainly will provide a special-teams boost to whichever team lands him, but it's no guarantee that he'll pan out as a solid receiving option. An organization could get burned if it overpays him to be a multifaceted contributor.


Monday: Packers DE-OLB Aaron Kampman


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