Should the Chargers pursue Akeem Ayers?
By Ernie Padaon
The San Diego Chargers need some depth at linebacker and a player that could help out in free agency is Akeem Ayers.
The San Diego Chargers lost Jarret Johnson to retirement this offseason. Dwight Freeney is a free agent and the team might want to see what other options are avaialable. The depth at the outside linebacker is a little weak after losing the pair of vets. Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attaochu are the remaining outside backers on the roster that will get the majority of the opportunities to play. Neither has proven that they can stay healthy in their NFL careers. More depth will need to be added through the draft or through free agency.
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Ingram seems like he will be a solid starter on one side, but Attaochu still has a lot to prove. We can’t just hand him the starting role because Johnson and Freeney are out. Another player could walk in and steal that starting job.
A player that is available in free agency that could make an immediate impact is Akeem Ayers. Ayers was picked up by the New England Patriots in the middle of the season from the Tennessee Titans and is now a free agent. In his stint with the Patriots, he was able to pick up 4 sacks off of the edge. He was best used chasing after the quarterback. He contributed on defense to a championship team.
One of the biggest struggles for the Chargers for a while has been the ability to get to quarterbacks. Ayers could bring that ability to the field immediately. He would be able to rotate with Ingram and Attaochu on defense. He would likely steal the starting job from Attaochu if he were signed. Attaochu then would be used as a pass rushing specialist and rotate with Melvin and Akeem. That could give the team 3 young solid linebackers to work with.
I liked Ayers coming out of UCLA. He was a quick and athletic linebacker coming off of the edge. He is a Los Angeles native and might want to get a little closer to home. We can bring him back to Southern California and give him an opportunity to be a starter. He won’t have a lot of leverage to ask for a big contract either, but is a young player that we can grab.
What do you think about adding Ayers?
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