After playing the last two years of his career with the Los Angeles Chargers, linebacker Korey Toomer is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Should the Chargers make an effort to bring him back next season?
After being selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2012 draft, Toomer has bounced all over the league, playing for the Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams and Oakland Raiders, but he’s really been able to show his best effort as a member of the Chargers.
He had a terrific 2016 season, racking up 75 tackles while also registering a sack and three forced fumbles. In 2017, he saw his numbers go down a bit, but he played in 15 games, which was the most in any season of his career. During the Chargers’ blowout win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 11, Toomer showed his athleticism by intercepting a pass thrown by Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman and taking it 59 yards for a touchdown.
Linebacker is a position the Chargers aren’t exactly deep at and Denzel Perryman, probably the best overall linebacker on the team, has had some injury problems. Other linebackers include Hayes Pullard, Jatavis Brown, Kyle Emanuel and Nick Dzubnar.
Regardless of whether or not the Chargers re-sign Toomer or not, I do think they’ll add at least one linebacker in the draft and they may sign one in free agency.
Toomer should get some attention from other teams around the league as well, so the Chargers may find themselves in a bidding war.
More from Bolt Beat
- LA Chargers: 3 early takeaways from 2021 minicamp thus far
- LA Chargers: Drue Tranquill takes a jab at Gus Bradley’s defense
- LA Chargers second-year players: Nothing to lose and a lot to gain
- LA Chargers: Why running back could be a big issue for the Bolts
- LA Chargers: Chris Rumph’s upside is Melvin Ingram-like, but better
According to Spotrac, Toomer’s contract was worth $1.7 million last season. He’ll likely be looking for a long-term deal with a slight bump in pay. If a team offers him that, he’ll likely be gone as the Chargers probably won’t be looking to offer him anything more than another one-year deal.
That said, the current coaching staff may not be too high on Toomer. Last season, with Perryman missing extended time, Pullard was on the field much more. That is evidenced in the snap counts for each player as Toomer saw just 25 percent of the defensive snaps while Pullard was on the field for 45 percent of the defensive snaps.
That said, Toomer is a more effective defender and there should be an effort made to retain his services. If the Chargers don’t see that being a great option, Pullard isn’t the long-term answer either. The team will need to use a high draft pick on a linebacker and perhaps sign one through free agency as well.