The fan favorite running back is up for free agency once again, and against popular opinion, I believe the Chargers should let Danny Woodhead walk.
Before I get to my reasoning as to why I firmly believe Danny Woodhead shouldn’t be re-signed, let me be the first to say that I love him as a player and person.
Enduring constant hardship throughout his entire professional career, Woodhead has shown nothing but professionalism in its finest form, and I commend him for it. However, when it comes to his upcoming role with the Chargers and whether or not he should be re-signed, there isn’t another logical decision to be made besides cutting him.
So without further delay, here are my reasons as to why Mr. Woodhead should find another employer for the 2017-18 season.
1. Melvin Gordon is ready to shine
This point goes without saying, but Melvin Gordon was sensational last year considering the circumstances. Averaging nearly 4.0 yards per carry behind a dumpster fire of an offensive line, Gordon also set career highs in touchdowns, receptions, receiving yards and of course rushing yards. The correlation between Gordon and Woodhead is relatively simple to spot, and don’t forget that Chargers fans have already endured one season of snap count frustrations when both players were healthy. The bottom line is, when both running backs are available, Woodhead steals too many snaps away from Gordon.
The snap count debate of 2015 contained two valid arguments for each individual at the time, but with Gordon making large strides in both receiving and pass blocking, I’m finding it hard to argue for Woodhead this go around. Yes, Woodhead is an unique athlete with moves in the receiving game few can replicate, and his pass blocking speaks for itself; however, I think Gordon has closed the gap enough to make Woodhead expendable. Also notable: The Chargers can spend more money elsewhere on the roster.
2. Injuries becoming distinguishable concern with Woodhead
After breaking his leg in 2014, Woodhead tore his ACL (for the second time in his career) against the Jaguars in 2016. At 32 years of age, he’s not getting any younger and it’s concerning to think about when these major injuries might start causing a decline in his overall game. All in all, signing a 32-year-old skill position free agent coming off their second major injury in three years isn’t the smartest of moves in my opinion.
3. The draft is stacked with running backs
It’s no joke folks. The upcoming draft has AT LEAST 15 running backs worthy of rotational duties next year in the league. In other words, when it comes to finding a replacement for Woodhead, they’re abundant.
You want another power back to pair with Gordon? Let me interest you in a Samaje Perine! I can already sense the “bruise bros” nickname approaching from afar. Desiring more of a pass-catching threat out of the backfield? How about a freshly-used Alvin Kamara?!?!? Demanding a change-of-pace/home-run threat? I believe there is a one Marlon Mack up for draft consideration!!! Like I said ladies and gentleman, this draft class is insanely talented.
Danny Woodhead served a valuable purpose on the Chargers for multiple years and he should be applauded for his contributions. However, with a multitude of viable options available to replace him on the roster, I stand by my preference to let him walk in free agency.
The added cap space to a team in dire need of it is obviously beneficial. Compile that with the youth movement L.A. can go forth with at the RB position, and all of the sudden it’s all too enticing to cut ties with Mr. Woodhead.
In finality, this decision is a tough one for the team to make, and it could very well be an unpopular one amongst us fans. However, when considering all circumstances, it’s a no-brainer to look to upgrade the position somewhere else.