I’ve written extensively about whom I believe the Chargers should be targeting and drafting in this upcoming off-season. As a result this list has been written with some rules to help guide it and keep away from layover with the other pieces.
First off, offensive and defensive lineman won’t be considered for multiple positions; only one free agent per positional grouping.
I will not be considering punters, kickers, or returners for these free agent spots. Mostly because I can’t imagine anyone who cares about those spots (although one could seriously argue, with the Chargers kicking game the discussion should always be had).
I will also be taking into consideration the most up to date knowledge on free agency and roster moves thus far. This list will also be written with the consideration of the upcoming draft and salary cap space that the Chargers have, which is roughly about 55 million currently.
One Free Agent For Every Position On The Chargers
QB – Case Keenum
The Chargers could make this move happen in the 3-5 million dollar range. Keenum is a guy who has won football games for the Vikings in the past. Handcuffing a position that’s about to change and getting a proven veteran isn’t the worst way to ensure the most important position in the game. Not saying Keenum would be brought in as the future, but another veteran leader that could compete with Tyrod Taylor and mentor the next franchise QB.
RB – Jordan Howard
I wrote about Howard in my first piece about free agents the Chargers can target. Cost-effective, slides in well next to Ekeler as a between the tackles player, and a proven track record. An easy win for the Chargers.
WR – Jordan Matthews
Keenan Allen is a star, but the Chargers haven’t resigned Mike Williams or Hunter Henry yet. That said, they’ve got talent at the pass-catching position, but clearly lack true depth. Adding a pair of sure hands and a decent route runner in veteran Jordan Matthews could be useful. He can come in for cheap and provide usable depth for the Chargers in case those other scenarios play out.
TE – Blake Jarwin
Another guy I wrote about previously. Jarwin is just good enough to be useful and handcuff Henry where their money at this position will surely be spent. With a low-end draft class coming up at TE, Chargers need depth behind Henry.
OL – Josh Wells
The Chargers parted ways with Russell Okung and brought in Trai Turner. A fantastic move for the future and immediately, but that means they still need help at tackle. Insert Wells, who is a cheap vet, and can slide to a few positions if needed. Not over-committing before a loaded draft is the right move.
DL – Javon Hargrave
The Chargers’ defensive line has the potential to be special. Hargrave is going to cost a lot of money. The Chargers should still spend the money. Solidify the best defensive line in football, and fill in a spot that they have struggled for years with. All the while, getting a guy in the prime of his career and a tackling machine.
LB – De’Vondre Campbell
Another tackling machine, but Campbell can be had for under 3 million bucks right now. He’s also in his mid-20’s and could be the piece the linebacking unit has needed to solve overall problems, especially against the run. High energy is always a good route, even if it costs a little bit.
S – Darian Thompson
We’re really nit-picking at this point because the Chargers have Derwin James, and just drafted Nasir Adderley at safety. Thompson is young enough to be a guy who can grow in that locker room, won’t be making a ton of money, and could still produce given the right situation considering the 45 tackles he had last season.
CB – Ross Cockrell
Cockrell isn’t going to be someone who flashes off the page. And at his age, he shouldn’t be commanding more money than he’s already earning. But at the same time, he would give the Chargers another guy who could just slot in and play his position without a ton of questions. In this pass heavy NFL, thats always usable, even if it’s not long term.