The San Diego Chargers must improve the offensive line. In fact, that has to be the top priority this offseason. Whether it be through free agency or the NFL draft, several moves need to be made.
The draft features a tackle out of Mississippi named Laremy Tunsil. Some experts feel he is the top player in the draft. Two teams will pick ahead of the Chargers in April—the Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns. Tunsil could be taken before the Chargers come up, so does the team want to roll the dice that he’ll still be there?
If it doesn’t, there are some solid tackles set to hit the open market. One of them is Cordy Glenn, and he could be a good fit in San Diego. Glenn may be the best offensive lineman available as a free agent this offseason. Because of that, Glenn is going to looking for a big pay day. The Chargers have the money to spend, but does the team want to spend so much on one position?
If you look back to how many hits Philip Rivers took last season, the answer should be a resounding yes. Rivers was sacked 40 times in 2015 and the play of the offensive line was as big a reason as any as to why the team struggled so mightily. But it wasn’t just pass protection that the unit had issues with. The Chargers ranked dead last in the league in yards per carry, averaging just 3.5 yards per rush attempt. That led to rookie Melvin Gordon’s career getting off to an awful slow start.
The Chargers will need to bring in more than one offensive lineman, but the team should really make a strong run at Glenn. The Buffalo Bills, the team that drafted Glenn in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft, will likely put up a strong right to keep him. But when the teams are allowed to being contract negotiations with other players, calling Glenn’s agent should be one of the first moves the Chargers make.
Glenn would be a big upgrade over King Dunlap at the left tackle position. He could help Rivers stay upright, as he allowed just two sacks and two hits on the quarterback in 2015. Glenn has also started in every game for the Bills for the past three seasons. At 26 years old, he can become one of the best tackles in the league.
Cordy Glenn allowed only 4 combined Sacks and QB hits this season, third fewest
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 16, 2016
If the Chargers can fortify the interior of the line, perhaps by finding a solid option at center to go along with signing Glenn, you could see a much better offense in 2016. Rivers would have more time to throw the ball and Gordon may have some holes to run through, two things that didn’t happen last season.
Spotrac estimates that a deal for Glenn could be worth $11.4 million per season, on average. That’s a steep price to pay, but it’s one the Chargers must strongly consider.