Los Angeles Chargers Perfect Free Agent Match: An Unglamorous But Smart Move

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While many media outlets are speculating that the Los Angeles Chargers will make some big swings in free agency, Pro Football Focus picks a more pragmatic move for the team; re-sign Alohi Gilman. It isn’t the most exciting suggestion, but given the Chargers salary cap conundrum, they should make this move and will have make several more like it to build a winning team.

One player they should find a way to keep is safety Alohi Gilman. He finished 2023 with an 86.1 overall grade. That mark ranked second on the team, behind Mack, and seventh among qualified NFL safeties. PFF’s contract projection would pay Gilman less than $3 million annually, so the Chargers have no reason to let such a productive player depart.

PFF: Perfect free-agent matches for all 32 NFL teams
NFL: Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Chargers
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Alohi Gilman Brought Life To Moribund 2023 Los Angeles Chargers Defense

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As Amanda Marie-Howard wrote earlier this year, “Alohi Gilman was a tank in 2023. According to PFF, he has the second-best overall defense grade (86.1), the third-best run defense (75.2), and the best coverage grade (89.2) on the team. He had a career-high in pass breakups (seven), including two during the Week 17 game against the Broncos.”

He had some very memorable moments as well. When he forced wide receiver Garett Wilson to cough up the ball during Week 9 against the Jets then safety Derwin James picked up the loose ball. And during Week 3 against Minnesota, he ripped the ball out of tight end T.J. Hockenson’s hands, no easy feat. He also had interceptions against the Bills and in the last game against the Chiefs.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets
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Gilman’s Chances Of Returning To The Chargers

With wholesale regime changes among Chargers brass, it is hard to say exactly how Jim Harbaugh and Co. feel about Gilman given that he was drafted two coaching staffs ago and that they have yet to get to know the 2020 6th-rounder.

Furthermore, the safety market has been absolutely flooded with high-end veteran talent. Which will only drive down Gilman’s cost. That is obviously beneficial to the cash-strapped Chargers. Unless there is a team that has fallen head over heels with Gilman, they should have a good chance at keeping him.

The Chargers’ safety depth chart is pretty scant if they don’t or can’t sign him, with just Derwin James, AJ Finley, and JT Woods under contract at the moment.

Should The Los Angeles Chargers Re-Sign This Defensive Back In 2024? 

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings
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