Should the Chargers sign a veteran wide receiver?
By Nick Mansoor
The 2016 San Diego Chargers’ wide receiving corps looks fresh and revamped heading into training camp.
Keenan Allen will be returning from injury after what looked like a potential Pro Bowl-caliber year. The Chargers added a speedy young receiver in Travis Benjamin, who will also play as a special teams returner. They also brought in some interesting camp bodies out of the undrafted free-agent pool.
All of this sounds really nice, but there’s a feeling that something is missing. The Chargers lack a veteran presence here. Malcom Floyd was the guy to provide that presence for years, but he hung up his cleats this past offseason after finishing his entire career as a Bolt. His image will be greatly missed here in Charger Town.
Should the Bolts consider bringing in another veteran? Not only that, but is it necessary at this point to do so?
Luckily for the Chargers, there are still a number of decent receivers available in the market, none of which should be a long-term solution; but there are some quality veteran receivers who know how to get the job done and could also teach the youngsters a thing or two for the time being. Here are some pretty good options that are still available for the taking:
1. James Jones
Jones has been a solid receiver for the past few years. He doesn’t put up flashy numbers, but he does a solid job and can make the highlight catches. He had a decent year two seasons ago in Oakland, where he managed to snag 666 yards (ohhhh..that’s a scary number) with Derek Carr, who was in rookie form then, throwing to him.
Last season Jones returned to Green Bay, where his most successful seasons have been played. He looked like the old Jones in is return and had his best statistical season yet after racking up a career-high 890 yards on 50 catches. He would be an interesting signing and would definitely be an upgrade over Stevie Johnson in the slot. The 32-year-old veteran might just give Johnson a run for his money if it were to happen. Plus, our depth would look a whole lot better if someone were to go down with an injury.
2. Andre Johnson
This would be a “flashy name” signing, but the veteran presence is definitely there. Johnson had his worst season last year when he joined the Indianapolis Colts, which was a team that struggled all year like the Chargers. Quarterback Andrew Luck just wasn’t playing like himself, and I feel like that had a lot to do with Johnson’s performance.
Johnson would also be an immediate upgrade in the slot for the Bolts. And honestly, do you really think he will get less than 600 yards with Philip Rivers throwing to him? This is a win-win situation for the Chargers since he will come cheap after a bad season. Plus, general manager Tom Telesco was very interested in signing him last year, but it came down to a last-second decision, and Johnson chose Indy. Bring the guy in on a one-year deal. Hell, use him as a camp body. The Chargers can’t lose here.
3. Anquan Boldin
I have always liked Boldin. The dude is just amazing. And I remember how I would always pick him up in Franchise Mode whenever I played Madden 2006. He is coming off a really good couple of seasons in San Francisco, and he should still play at that level–or even exceed that level–with Rivers as his quarterback.
Boldin is probably going to retire soon, but for a 35-year-old guy, he still plays at a much higher level than some of today’s youngsters, which is crazy. He would help fill the void left by Floyd, and he would make this squad look a whole lot scarier. He would probably be the most expensive acquisition out of the three names listed, but if the price is right, the Chargers could definitely put this guy’s talent to work with no issues.
Overall, the Chargers could definitely use some veteran presence when it comes to the wide receiver position. It will go a long way for the team and will help keep the young guys on the roster in check. I don’t feel too confident in Johnson after his performance last season. Maybe he will show up this year with the return of Ken Whisenhunt. The slot receiver position was a hot piece in Whisenhunt’s playbook, especially after he made Eddie Royal look amazing.
Again, should the Chargers consider getting a veteran receiver? Or should they see how it goes with the current guys?
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