After a more than abysmal season, that began with much optimism, it’s now the offseason for the Chargers. Things may not appear bright with their pending free agents, cap woes, and HC and GM vacancies, but the Bolts are still an interesting club who’s capable of being a threat next year. Below are some areas that I think need to be emphasized to ensure a successful offseason.
Be Patient with the Offseason Search
There’s a difference between being patient and taking too long. In terms of finding their next HC and GM, patience will be essential. Ownership must take enough time to thoroughly interview their candidates to hire those that can help the Chargers be championship contenders. I am hoping the Chargers hire either Adam Peters or Joe Horitz to be their next GM. Both have had illustrious front-office careers and know how to identify late-round gems. As for their next HC, I’d love to see the Bolts bring in either Ben Johnson or Mike McDonald if they wish to go the first-time HC route. Otherwise, Brian Flores and Kellen Moore are other viable options if they wish to bring in either an experienced coach or someone from in-house.
Retain Key Personnel
While Kellen Moore is a great candidate to be the Bolt’s next HC, it’d be less surprising for them to bring in someone out-of-house. Nevertheless, if they do bring in someone from the outside, it’ll be important for them to retain key personnel such as OC Kellen Moore, ST Coordinator Ryan Ficken, and interim HC Giff Smith. Obviously, the retention of Moore will depend on what type of coach is brought in, but his impact on the team has been noticeable; the same can be said for Smith as well. As for Ficken, the Chargers ST unit hasn’t been better. While the offense and defense have had their ups and downs, ST has remained stout and been one of the best in the NFL. Bear Bryant once said, “Offense sells tickets but defense wins championships.” While this might hold some truth, you still can’t forget about special teams.
Let Players Walk this Offseason
While the Chargers will be losing several starters this offseason to free agency, it’s important that they let them go. One of these players is Kenneth Murray. Overall underwhelming for a former first-rounder, Murray’s had a solid year. However, should another team sign the former Sooner, the Chargers would receive a much-needed compensatory pick that could help alleviate their cap issues. Another backer we could see gone is Eric Kendricks. Kendricks has been fine in LA, but should the veteran be cut, it would save the Bolts just under $7 million. Obviously, this won’t solve everything with Khalil Mack’s and Joey Bosa’s contracts, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Don’t be Afraid to Trade…for Draft Capital
As mentioned, the Chargers are in a position to gain a few compensatory picks this offseason. But to win the offseason, the Chargers also can’t be afraid to make some trades. While I wouldn’t expect them to trade players like Mack or Bosa, Derwin James could be on the move. The past few weeks, his usage hasn’t been the same as what’s typical. Because of this, James has voiced some frustrations believing he could be used better. If the Chargers’ new HC and DC see James the same way, it could mean he’s playing elsewhere next season. Additionally, the Chargers are expected to have a pick somewhere between six through eight. It could be in their best interest to trade down to acquire more capital while still getting a premier talent. Of course, in this situation, the key then would be to not trade down too low.
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