The 2019 NFL league year has been official for a few days and many teams across the league already look much different than they did a year ago.
The Los Angeles Chargers are not among them,
While teams around the league have made trades and spent big money to make splashy moves, the Chargers have mostly stayed the course. General manager Tom Telesco has stuck to a plan of plugging in experienced veterans which he can get at a reasonable cost.
Ownership obviously approves of Telesco’s moves, as he was recently rewarded with a contract extension.
Telesco knows his team is close. Clearly, he feels that the Chargers can win the Super Bowl without going and signing a player like Earl Thomas or C.J. Mosley. That, or he’s just not willing to spend that kind of money to find out how much better the team can be.
Here, we will take a look at the moves the team has made as well as the players that have left for what they feel are greener pastures. Finally, we will take a look at which players from last season’s roster still don’t have a contract with the Chargers or any other team.
Thomas Davis: After spending 14 seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Davis, who will turn 36 years old soon, will bring veteran presence and leadership to the team. What does the linebacker have left? (Grade and analysis)
Adrian Phillips: The team chose to re-sign one of last year’s unsung heroes. Phillips was selected to the Pro Bowl and will have a chance to build off what he did in 2018 after being cut by the team eight different times in his career.
Brandon Mebane: A curious decision to be sure, but re-signing Mebane fits into Telesco’s ideas of having savvy veterans on the roster.
Isaac Rochell: After a five-sack season, Isaac Rochell is coming into his own and could be even more effective in 2019. It was a great move to retain his services.
Jaylen Watkins: Despite missing the entire 2018 season, the Chargers brought Watkins back into the fold. There will be opportunities at the safety position this season.
Jahleel Addae: Part of the reason why there will be opportunities at the safety position is the fact that the Chargers released Addae, who just didn’t fit the defensive scheme at all.
Geremy Davis: The Chargers are thin at wide receiver and Davis has been part of the team since 2016.
Kyle Emanuel: The Chargers probably have enough at linebacker to move on from Emanuel, particularly if they add through the draft. If not and Emanuel remains unsigned, you could see the team bring him back this summer.
Donnie Jones: No real reason to bring a punter who will be 39 years old when the season begins. The Chargers can get what Jones gave them last season out of pretty much any punter in the draft or on the street.
Darius Philon: Out of all the players on this list, this is the guy that the Chargers should re-sign. He’s still just 25 years old and seems to be just hitting his stride as a player.
Hayes Pullard: Much like Emanuel, there’s no need for the services of Pullard right now. He’s been nothing more than a stopgap the last two seasons.
Geno Smith: Almost certainly won’t be back following the signing of Taylor.
Damion Square: Another player the Chargers should seriously consider re-signing for depth on the defensive line. He has spent the past five seasons with the team.