Los Angeles Chargers Deemed Best Fit For Free Agent Wide Receiver

Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell broke down the best fits for the top remaining free agents and identified the Los Angeles Chargers as the best landing spot for former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup.

Wide receiver is a clear and obvious need for the Los Angeles Chargers, now that Mike Williams and Keenan Allen have been ousted. And Gallup has offered intriguing elements to an offense during his career.

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Los Angeles Chargers FA Target
October 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers cornerback Deommodore Lenoir (2) during the second quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Some may assume that the 28-year-old has lost a step after suffering a torn ACL at the end of the 2021-22 season. But as Barnwell points out,

“…NFL Next Gen Stats tracking data suggests there has only been a slight decline. In 2021, his last season before the injury, his median speed on routes was 14.3 miles per hour, and he topped 20 miles per hour once on 318 pass routes. This past season, post-injury, Gallup’s median speed was close to identical at 14.1 mph, and he topped 20 mph three times on 373 routes. That’s a small step backward.”

His production has certainly declined from its heights in 2019 and 2020. In those two seasons, he caught 125 passes, 1950 yards, and 11 touchdowns. In the three seasons since, 108 catches, 1287 yards and eight touchdowns. This coincides with the addition of CeeDee Lamb, which resulted in some redundancy in the Cowboy’s wide receiver depth.

What Gallup Would Bring to the Los Angeles Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers are in a bit of a ‘warm bodies’ situation. Joshua Palmer is their most experienced pass-catcher. He has given them quality reps but has been inconsistent. Derius Davis hasn’t proven to be a legitimate force in the pros. And then there is Quentin Johnston. He hasn’t lived up to his first-round billing but has plenty of upside. He just needs to catch the ball consistently.

Gallup would inject the Chargers WR room with a better baseline. He isn’t THE answer, but he would add a lot to a group that needs a lot of help. The Chargers could also look to Tyler Boyd, Odell Beckham Jr., or Josh Reynolds to fill this role as well.

NFL: New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys
Sep 17, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) attempt to catch a pass in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports