Hardwick’s return key for offensive line

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On Saturday, the Chargers and their fans received welcoming news.

32-year old offensive lineman Nick Hardwick, who has spent what will be all eleven years of his career by the end of the upcoming season, has decided to return to the team. Hardwick, who contemplated retirement, informed the U-T San Diego of his plans to return to the team for the 2014 season.

Hardwick has been a staple of the Charger offensive line throughout his career. Through his 10 seasons in San Diego, the former Purdue Boilermaker made the Pro Bowl once (2006) and has played at least 12 games all but one season in his career.

The veteran lineman’s return to San Diego certainly helps the Chargers going forward. They maintain a reliable cog in their offensive line and will not be forced to look for a center in free agency. While drafting a player to eventually be Hardwick’s replacement is certainly a possibility, the Charger brass may not have to make it as much of a priority as they would had Hardwick called it a career.

So with Hardwick’s decision to play out the 2014 season as a Charger, the front office gets a well deserved relief and thus can stick to their offseason plan without making a last second change.

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