Step 1: Free agency
Two quarterbacks have been linked to the Chargers.
Pro Football Networks’ Benjamin Allbright reported earlier this season that the Chargers would be interested in Newton and Mariota should Rivers retire or move on. This was due to the team having needs that must be addressed at the offensive tackle and cornerback positions.
Attaining Newton or Mariota allows the Chargers to freely draft the best player available at the sixth spot, rather than being forced to select their franchise quarterback.
This scenario might happen because if the last few years have proven anything to Chargers fans, it’s that the Chargers don’t want to take a quarterback early. Whether it’s because they didn’t believe in any of the quarterbacks, or Rivers dissuaded them, or they just didn’t trust their own judgment, is unknown.
What is known, is that the moment the quarterbacks they have had an interest in were available, they shied away from pulling the trigger.
The team’s first step would likely be to try and pry Newton away from the Carolina Panthers, or make an attempt to persuade Mariota to sign a cheap two-year deal similar to Tyrod Taylor‘s contract of $11 million over two years. If neither of these works out, then the Chargers will be forced to look toward the draft, which leads to step two.
Now, let’s get to the big negative, and why this does not make sense.
First, the team has to extend Joey Bosa, Hunter Henry, and soon Desmond King. Then you have vets like Keenan Allen and Melvin Ingram that you will have to deal with. It doesn’t make much sense at all to go sign a veteran when you can get a young quarterback that you believe in for a much less amount of money.
Could they squeeze out the cap in this scenario? Sure, but it would be tight and limit the number of holes you can patch up in free agency in the future.