The CFL’s impact on the Chargers


In Tom Telesco’s short tenure as general manager in San Diego, he has found multiple players in the Canadian Football League that have become contributors.

Over the past three seasons, the San Diego Chargers have been extremely active with the Canadian Football League (CFL). On multiple occasions the team has taken a risk on CFL players, and so far it has paid off.

This is quickly becoming a trend for San Diego. Every year since head coach Mike McCoy and Telesco have been in charge, a former CFL player has made an impact on this team. They may not be star players or even get the chance to crack the starting lineup most of the time, but the players have provided depth and experience that cannot be overlooked.

Back in the beginning of 2014, Telesco and his staff found two CFL standouts that he felt could really add something special to the roster.

In January 2014, the Chargers agreed to terms with wide receiver Dontrelle Inman. About a month later, the Bolts agreed to terms with linebacker Cordarro Law.

After going undrafted in 2012, Law was signed by the Seattle Seahawks and would eventually be cut. He then was signed by the Calagary Stampeders and played a year in Canada where he honed in on his skills.

Following his short, but impressive stint in the Great White North, Law spent two seasons with the Chargers, and although he didn’t see the field as much as he may have wanted to, he still managed to play in 17 games over the course of his San Diego career.

Law is now currently a free agent but was a training camp standout just a year ago. He played very well in the preseason and earned a roster spot in 2015.

While Law only saw a limited role with the Chargers, Inman has been able to become a factor on offense.

Entering his third season with the Bolts, Inman has accumulated 644 yards and three touchdowns.

Inman got his first taste of real NFL action at the tail end of the 2014 season. In two games, Inman reeled in 12 catches for 158 yards. He was moved down in the depth chart to start the 2015 season but eventually got another chance due to injuries.

Inman started near half of San Diego’s games last season and became one of Philip Rivers go-to targets on a depleted team. Inman proved he belonged in the NFL last season and when the team needed him the most he came through.

Looking forward to 2016, it is tough to say what Inman’s role is going to be. San Diego just signed veteran wideout James Jones to a contract, and Tyrell Williams has been receiving rave reviews during training camp.

As has been the case in the past, Inman will be trying to quietly climb up the depth chart and show the coaches that his consistency is what matters.

Let’s fast forward to 2016. The San Diego Chargers were searching all over the globe for talented players that they could add to their roster. First stop for them, Canada.

In January, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Chargers were interested in CFL wideout Eric Rogers. Rogers would eventually sign with the San Francisco 49ers, and even though he didn’t end up with the Chargers, it is further evidence that the team loves to bring in CFL talent.

Rogers is a big-bodied receiver who the Chargers may have envisioned in Malcom Floyd’s role.

Top CFL prospect Eric Rogers, a 6-foot-4, 215-lb WR, visited Chargers yesterday and visiting Eagles on Friday, per source. 14 visits in all.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 17, 2015

Following the failed attempt to sign Rogers, the Chargers turned their attention to a defensive CFL star. Dexter McCoil played linebacker for two seasons in Canada and was an elite talent up north. He has been extremely impressive in his short time in San Diego so far.

McCoil went undrafted out of Tulsa back in 2013 and since then, he has been with the Edmonton Eskimos wreaking havoc on opposing offenses. He was voted the Most Outstanding Rookie in 2014 and has been coveted by NFL teams for a while now.

Although McCoil is listed as a linebacker and has played at that position for the past two seasons, he will be moving to safety and will see most of his time in the secondary.

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  • Since the moment McCoil has arrived in San Diego, everyone has been impressed. During rookie minicamp, McCoil was making plays all over the field. He looked like a man among boys and his momentum has continued into training camp.

    Early on in camp, McCoil has started to see a lot of time with the first and second-team defenses. This is a great sign for McCoil, who is in a heated position battle with Adrian Phillips and Adrian McDonald.

    McCoil has a special skill set that has allowed him to shoot up the depth chart. McCoil is a box safety, meaning that he has the ability to move up into the front seven and help stop the run. His massive 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame is a intimidating sight for running backs. McCoil is going to be trying to join the list of former CFL stars to play for the Chargers.

    There’s no denying that Telesco and San Diego’s front office have been very successful in adding talent from the CFL. On both sides of the ball, the talent has made an impact that has helped the team more than hurt it. Hopefully, the Chargers continue to fish and find more hidden gems in our neighbors up in the north.