The LA Chargers are firmly entrenched in the NFL’s current quarterback carousel.
As such, every name under the sun is going to be mentioned in connection with the Chargers over the course of the next couple of months. This includes both free agents and rookies in the 2020 draft class.
Would Tom Brady, arguably the greatest quarterback in league history, join the team ahead of its start in SoFi Stadium? There is some thought that the Chargers could attempt to lure the all-time great as a way to increase ticket sales as much as anything else.
What about Cam Newton? The former league MVP could be looking for a new home. What about one of the lower-ranked free agents looking for a fresh start such as Marcus Mariota and Teddy Bridgewater?
Then there’s the NFL draft, where names such as Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert and Jordan Love will be on the board. How serious are Tua’s health concerns? How far away is Love from being a starter and just what kind of prospect is Herbert?
All of those options will be talked about extensively, but one question that hasn’t been asked much might be just as much of a possibility?
What if the Chargers don’t add a quarterback in free agency or draft one at all?
To some, that may sound ludicrous, but general manager Tom Telesco recently stated his thoughts on the quarterbacks already on the roster.
— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) February 11, 2020
Those internal options would be Tyrod Taylor and Easton Stick.
Now, you might read that and say “of course he says that” and it’s true, it’s not like he is going to say he hates the team’s internal options. But let’s just pretend for a moment that he actually loves the combination of Taylor and Stick.
Taylor, as the starter, would bring a wealth of starting experience to the team. He is a veteran that has played in many different systems, including being with Anthony Lynn with the Buffalo Bills. He would also bring the kind of mobility the team has seemed to covet for years now.
In Stick, there would certainly be some risk of having him as a backup as the former fifth-round pick sat and watched his entire rookie season. However, going with the combination of Taylor and Stick could provide an answer to some questions.
For one, if the team doesn’t have any intentions to use Taylor as anything other than a backup, why did it sign him as a free agent last year? It’s been a legitimate question from the moment the move was made, as Philip Rivers technically never needed a backup since he never missed a start. Why then, do you pay out for one of the better backups in the league?
Furthermore, why draft Stick if he’s never going to play for the team? Why waste a pick on a guy who ends up getting cut or spending time as a gameday inactive for several years? Though that question isn’t as complex as the one surrounding Taylor, it’s still certainly fair to ask.
You are likely reading this and coming up with multiple rebuttals, but maybe, just maybe, Telesco saw this exact day coming one year ago. Maybe, just maybe, the idea of Taylor and a rookie that the team could develop in its system for an entire year was his plan all along.
The Chargers may not have been planning on having such a high first-round pick (No. 6 overall) and with a pick that high, particularly in a draft that has some solid quarterback options, it might be a bit hard to pass on a quarterback.
The idea of having Taylor as the starter ahead of a learning Herbert or Love is just as enticing as the scenario mentioned above, but it may be too early to insist that the Chargers are definitely drafting a quarterback or signing one in free agency this year.