With the window closing on their franchise quarterback, the Los Angeles Chargers have to upgrade their roster this offseason at certain positions.
Philip Rivers had an MVP-type season for the Chargers in 2018, which helped propel the team to a 12-4 record. Unfortunately for them, that record wasn’t good enough to win the AFC West over the Kansas City Chiefs, so they had to take the Wild Card route.
After defeating the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card round in what turned out to be a dominant defensive performance by the Chargers, the team got smacked in the mouth by the eventual Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots in the Divisional round.
The Chargers and their fans were left with a bad taste in their mouths and haunting thoughts of “what could have been?” when their season wrapped up with that playoff loss in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Not only was it because the team’s season was over, but more so because of the talent this team had on both sides of the ball.
Defensively, the Chargers had 2018 All-Pros and Pro Bowlers with Derwin James, Adrian Phillips, Desmond King and Melvin Ingram to go with Casey Hayward and Joey Bosa. Offensively, Rivers, Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon and Mike Pouncey were named to the Pro Bowl to represent the dynamic-Chargers offense.
Even with a roster that dealt with many injuries, it appeared to be a year of promise for the Chargers. Instead, the team has to go back to the drawing board this offseason to ready for the 2019 season.
Currently, the Chargers only have two true cornberbacks on their roster: Hayward and Trevor Williams (restricted free agent). Jason Verrett, injured for the whole 2018 season, will hit the open market as a free agent this offseason.
King is an interesting case because he plays somewhat of a rover role between free safety and cornerback. Therefore, he may play far more safety during the 2019 season as Phillips enters free agency this spring.
In this instance, the Chargers don’t need to go out and sign a player to a massive contract, nor do they have to try and move up in the draft to select someone. This is the case because they have a number-one in Hayward and a solid second corner with Williams.
Of course, if they have the means to do either of those alternatives it wouldn’t hurt, but there is no pressing need to do so with what is available via both options.
The Chargers currently have just under $30 million available cap, which may go up depending upon what they decide to do with some current roster players. One free agent option that wouldn’t require a long-term deal would be Houston Texans corner Kareem Jackson.
Jackson is a physical, veteran player who is coming off a strong season. At age 30, Jackson has nine-years of experience and 16 career interceptions, and he gives the impression that he has a lot of football left in him. Signing him to a short-term deal to help give that secondary a physical, man-to-man presence would be a cheaper, yet wise decision.