It is widely agreed that since the departure of Eric Weddle, the Los Angeles Chargers have struggled at the safety position. Dwight Lowery and Jahleel Addae did a decent job filling the vacancy, but should they look elsewhere? Here are their options.
Dec 13, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West (35) is tackled by San Diego Chargers strong safety Jahleel Addae (37) during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
1. Re-sign Jahleel Addae and retain Dwight Lowery.
The first and likely most obvious option the Chargers have is to re-sign unrestricted free agent Jahleel Addae and keep Dwight Lowery as his partner. While Addae is only 27 and seems to have some potential, he has consistently had injury problems. These injury problems likely will decrease his price in free agency, making it easier for the Chargers to potentially re-sign him. Lowery, on the other hand, is still contracted until 2019, and it seems likely that he will stay with the team. While this option may be the easiest, I don’t think it is the most cost-efficient nor the best.
2. Take a safety in free agency.
Another route the Chargers may choose could be to take a safety in free agency. While there are many solid options out there such as Barry Church, Mike Adams, and Jonathan Cyprien, one player stands out above all the rest. Eric Berry, one of the elite safeties in the NFL, is a free agent, and he will be a hot commodity. While his talent is far and beyond any other safety, his price tag will be great, so he may not be the best option for the Chargers. The other players mentioned, while solid in their own respect, will still be fairly pricey and lack too much potential. Chargers should likely look elsewhere.
3. Take a safety in the 2017 NFL Draft.
December 31, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes safety Malik Hooker (24) celebrates after intercepting a pass against the Clemson Tigers during the first half of the the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Chargers have the 7th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and many believe that they may take a safety with that pick. The top two safeties in the draft this year are almost undoubtedly Jamal Adams and Malik Hooker. Jamal Adams was a hard-hitting tackling machine for LSU, and he seems destined to be picked in the first round. Most mock drafts currently have him being selected fourth overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but there is a possibility he could drop down to the Chargers. Malik Hooker, the ballhawk from Ohio State, is projected to be the Chargers pick at No. 7, and it seems that he will be a good fit into Gus Bradley’s new 4-3 defense.
While drafting a safety may not be the safest option, it will undoubtedly be cheaper than many options and provide the most potential for the future. For these reasons, I think that the Chargers best option is to use their first-round draft pick on either Hooker or Adams, and hope that they develop into starters for a long time to come.
What do you think? Use the comments below to tell us what route you think the team should take.