Chargers 2018 free agency: Is it the end of the road for Kellen Clemens?


Continuing our look at each of the Los Angeles Chargers’ pending unrestricted free agents, backup quarterback Kellen Clemens is up next. Do the Bolts bring him back for yet another season with the team?

2018 free agency: OL Matt Slauson & Kenny Wiggins

2018 free agency: TE Antonio Gates

2018 free agency: LB Korey Toomer

2018 free agency: FS Tre Boston

2018 free agency: RB Branden Oliver

2018 free agency: DE Jeremiah Attaochu

It seems like Clemens has played for half the teams in the league, but he’s in the midst of the longest tenure of his career, which has been with the Chargers. Clemens has been the team’s backup quarterback for the past four seasons.

Career statistics

Passing yards: 4,053

Completion percentage: 54.9

Touchdown passes: 16

Interceptions: 21

Statistics with Chargers

Passing yards: 109

Completion percentage: 66.6

Touchdown passes: 1

Interceptions: 1

Last offseason, the Chargers made a trade with the Buffalo Bills to acquire former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones. That seemed to signal the end of Clemens’ tenure, but Jones wasn’t able to show enough during the preseason for the Chargers to be confident enough in him as their only other quarterback.

So they brought Clemens back after he cleared waivers following his release just before the season started.

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Perhaps it’s his experience or his familiarity with the system, but there is clearly something about Clemens that the team likes. However, fans know that if he ever has to play in a game or multiple games, the team will be at a distinct disadvantage.

Clemens was given a 1-year, $1 million deal last March to remain with the team. Of course, the Chargers could bring him back on another low-cost, 1-year deal, but for what? Eventually, there needs to be a better contingency plan behind Philip Rivers.

While it’s been fine to hold onto the veteran Clemens in the event something happens to Rivers, he’s nothing more than a temporary placeholder. He’ll turn 35 years old this June and it’s arguable as to whether he’s even fit to be that anymore.

The quarterback the Chargers really need to evaluate this offseason is Jones. In addition to that, Tom Telesco needs to break down and draft a guy as well, even if he doesn’t believe that should be with a day two pick.

But Clemens no longer adds anything to the team and his time in Los Angeles has run out.