Chargers sign Watkins as wide receiver

The San Diego Chargers signed strong safety Pat Watkins on Monday and waived wide receiver Gary Banks.

Watkins, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound free agent, is a fifth-year player that spent his first four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. He played in 13 games last season and finished second on the team with 18 special teams tackles and also recorded 22 on defense.

A neck injury limited him to eight games in 2008, but he led the Cowboys with 25 special teams tackles in ’07 and made 49 tackles and three interceptions on defense in ’06, starting nine of his 14 games.

The Cowboys drafted Watkins out of Florida State in 2006. Watkins was a college teammate of Chargers defensive lineman Travis Johnson. He also played with inside linebacker Kevin Burnett for three seasons and wide receiver Patrick Crayton for four seasons in Dallas.

Watkins will wear No. 26 for the Chargers.

SOURCE: Press release