Free Agents, Cut Candidates, and Team Needs

Free Agents, Cut Candidates, and Team Needs

The Los Angeles Chargers returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2018, so by any measure, it was a successful season for coach Brandon Staley. And they did so despite finishing the regular season with 13 players on injured reserve — including tight end Rashawn Slater and cornerback JC Jackson.

However, there is a lot of room for growth in LA. They will try to take the next step this offseason, with decisions pending on more than 20 free agents, several cut-and-dried candidates and how to address their team’s needs.

Los Angeles Chargers Offseason Preview: Maximize Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert is one of the best quarterback talents of this era. So why hasn’t he set stats commensurate with his abilities?

Herbert threw for the most passing yards in the AFC (699) and yet had 16 fewer touchdowns than eventual MVP Patrick Mahomes. Herbert ranked 11th in QBR (58.4) and 12th in passer rating (93.2) but 27th in yards per attempt (6.8).

Joe Lombardi — the Chargers’ offensive coordinator — deserves scrutiny for not designing a scheme that maximizes Herbert’s elite wing talent. But he’s not the only reason LA wasn’t more explosive.

The Chargers had no receivers ranked in the top 10 in passing average, and only one in the top 20: Keenan Allen (3.6 yards per target).

LA needs to add speed in attack and toughness in defence. The Chargers rank last in yards per carry allowed (5.4).

With a challenging situation, the Chargers will need to hit a high percentage of their seven picks.

Chargers 2023 salary cap space

According to Spotrac, the Chargers were over the 2023 salary cap by $9.6 million as of early January, giving them the fifth-worst situation in the NFL.

That figure includes less than $1 million in dead cap space and $3.7 million in cap space. It is based on an estimated $225 million NFL salary cap in 2023.

The exact cap figure won’t be known until the NFL announces it in early March.

Agents without loader 2023

The following Chargers players are set to hit free agency. (Restricted free agents are denoted by the abbreviation RFA, non-exclusive rights agents by ERFA.)

G Oday Abushi S Nasir Adderley WR Michael Bandy (ERFA) CB Bryce Callahan WR Deandre Carter C Will Clapp DT Christian Covington QB Chase Daniel DT Tyeler Davison P Cameron Dicker (ERFA) DT Breiden Fehoko (ERFA) DE Morgan Fox WR Jalen Guyton (R ) RT Storm Norton (RFA) TE Donald Parham (RFA) OT Trey Pipkins LB Troy Reeder TE Richard Rodgers P JK Scott QB Easton Stick LB Drue Tranquill ILB Kyle Van Noy Safety Nasir Adderley

Spotrac’s estimated market value: Three years, $26.4 million ($8.8 million AAV)

Summary: Adderley set a new career high in interceptions by racing under center and a career-high scoring pass from Ryan Tannehill in a Week 15 win over the Tennessee Titans. It was an inclusion worthy of any quarterback’s highlight reel — and an exclamation point on the best coverage season of his young career.

Linebacker Drue Tranquill

Spotrac Estimated Market Value: One year, $4M ($4M AAV)

Summary: In his 4th year, Tranquill became an every-time linebacker for the Chargers. However, he is probably best suited as a situational player. Tranquill’s increased role has left him exposed in coverage at times, but he is a disruptive player when asked to go forward.

Potential Cut Candidates OLB Khalil Mack ($18.4M in savings) CB Michael Davis ($7.4M) C Matt Feiler ($6.5M) DT Austin Johnson ($3.4M) Chargers Team should be headed to 2023 Offseason Offseason Wide BackbackedGeerlever

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