Bolt Beat Monday Mailbag: Philip Rivers and the fourth quarter

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Question 3

Why are the chargers going cheap this offseason?  Shouldn’t we sign Hankins (5mm), Boston/Reid (3mm) & Bowman (3mm) while cutting Mebane to be positioned for a deep playoff run. Then we can go into the draft and pick best available- draft McGlinchey to play RT (save 4mm with Barksdale), Ridley (save 5.7mm on Benjamin) or whoever else slips. Roquan Smith, Edmunds, Davenport, James.. in a weak draft it seems crazy to be forced to draft on need. -Scott

Potential Chargers’ free agents in 2019/2020:

  • DE Joey Bosa
  • WR Tyrell Williams
  • LB Denzel Perryman
  • CB Jason Verrett
  • QB Philip Rivers
  • RB Melvin Gordon
  • TE Hunter Henry

Now go through that list and pick which guys you don’t want with the Chargers in the future. Hard, right? I believe Tom Telesco is putting forth a greater effort to prepare for the future. According to, the Chargers are “only” paying about $5 million in dead money, something that plagued the Chargers in years past (Gaither, Butler, Cox, etc.). Telesco is going to focus on guys that he drafted/brought in getting paid (ex. Casey Hayward). You can consider it a weak draft, but the depth of the draft (DT and DB especially) favors the Chargers.

Question 4: Is the timing of clearing space by restructuring Liuget and rescinding Chris McCain random or are the Chargers planning to use the space (a) trade a Earl thomas or Ja’Wuan James b) sign Hankins? -Scott

It’s definitely not random, I’m sure of that. There’s a reason that we as fans are simply unaware of at this time, although speculation can be made.

Here’s a list of recent contract restructures (that I can find) and corresponding moves that followed:

2014: Restructure OLB Jarrett Johnson March 10th, WR Eddie Royal March 4th. Signed/extended G Chad Rinehart March 10th, RB Donald Brown March 11th.

2016: Restructure T King Dunlap March 5th. Signed/extended T Joe Barksdale March 7th, WR Travis Benjamin and NT Brandon Mebane March 10th

2017: Restructure QB Philip Rivers September 12th. No notable acquisitions, although many players were signed/activated as depth throughout September due to injuries to Denzel Perryman, Jason Verrett, and Mike Williams.

Two times, the restructure preceded then-important signings. Last year, Rivers restructured (he also did in 2016), which helped give the Chargers freedom to add depth players to supplement the roster.

Three options could be in play, in my opinion:

  1. Sign DT Jonathan Hankins
  2. Have cap space to sign players cut post-draft
  3. Re-sign Chris McCain to a new deal

I don’t think the Bolts trade for the players you mentioned. The third option is unlikely, but Anthony Lynn himself said the door was open for McCain’s return. I believe the second option is the most likely. Players like G/C Matt Slauson and CB Brandon Flowers were cut after the draft and correspondingly scooped up by the Chargers. Tom Telesco could be looking to do the same this season.