Some of the more interesting moves made this offseason by the Los Angeles Chargers could come at the defensive tackle position.
That puts the team in an interesting — if not precarious — position.
Justin Jones and T.Y. McGill are the only other defensive tackles on the roster, meaning the Chargers need to bring some of these guys back. Though Liuget and Mebane are the more experienced players, they’ll also be more expensive. In Mebane’s case, he’s also much older.
In Square and Philon, the Chargers have young players who could each still have their best years in front of them. Plus, they’re familiar with the defense.
Last season, both Square and Philon were solid rotational players who each saw more than half of the team’s defensive snaps. A sixth-round pick in 2015, Philon has 9.5 career sacks and just turned 25 years old. Square is 30 years old but started to get into a groove in 2018 with three sacks, more than he had the rest of his career, combined.
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Both of these players should still fit squarely (no pun intended) into the team’s defensive plans. If other pending free agents such as Jason Verrett, Tyrell Williams and Denzel Perryman all leave for new teams, the Chargers can conserve their spending money by signing both of these players.
They could then either draft a defensive tackle from a loaded class in one of the early rounds or look for another option on the free-agent market. Danny Shelton and Johnathan Hankins are a couple of players who could be cheaper options. Sheldon Richardson and Allen Bailey are players the Bolts could obtain if they want to pay a heftier price tag, which doesn’t seem likely.
The best option would probably be to draft a player early in the draft and use a combination of that player, Jones, Philon and Square next season.
There is a good chance the Chargers lose several of their unrestricted free agents this offseason. Tom Telesco needs to do what he can to make sure Philon and Square stick around for years to come.