Chargers’ best decision No. 7: Changes at QB
Additions: Tyrod Taylor (FA), Easton Stick (Draft)
Departures: Geno Smith (SEA)
What happened: Arguably the Chargers’ biggest free agent acquisition thus far is Tyrod Taylor, a veteran quarterback who has spent eight years in the league with three different teams. Taylor signed a two-year, $11 million deal to sit behind Philip Rivers.
The team doubled down on quarterback additions with their fifth-round selection of Easton Stick out of North Dakota State. Stick is unlikely to see game action this season, and is seen as a developmental project with years to learn an NFL system.
Why it’s a good decision: Do the Chargers need to spend $11 million on a quarterback who, for most fans, will hopefully never see the field? Maybe not. But paying Taylor a premium to join the team is necessary; after all, what else do the Chargers do if Rivers goes down? With Geno Smith departing in free agency, only Cardale Jones remained. The organization has not had a truly capable quarterback behind Rivers in years, but Taylor can step in and win a game if needed.
Stick brings a different kind of athleticism, more in line with what Taylor can do than the baby giraffe wearing No. 17. If he develops, fantastic; if not, he’s a fifth-round pick. His selection will likely push Jones off the team, which is an experiment with a 2018 expiration date.
There may be something else here: the Chargers may be looking at what kind of quarterback they would like to take in the future. They know how well the offense runs with Rivers under center; what does it look like with a mobile veteran like Taylor, or a young athlete like Stick? The Chargers will have a chance to see how their offense operates with three different men.