Chargers Free Agency

LA Chargers: Free agent nose tackles to replace Brandon Mebane

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 01: Nose tackle Brandon Mebane #92 of the Los Angeles Chargers walks on the field before a game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on December 1, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 23-20. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 01: Nose tackle Brandon Mebane #92 of the Los Angeles Chargers walks on the field before a game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on December 1, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 23-20. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

On Wednesday, the LA Chargers made the expected move to cut Brandon Mebane for cap space. Now, the Chargers must find a replacement for their former run-stuffing nose tackle.

In 2016, long-time Seattle Seahawk Brandon Mebane signed with the LA Chargers to become the run-stuffing nose tackle that the team lacked since the days of Jamal Williams.

While Mebane was never quite as effective as Williams, he served his job well, especially in the first few years of his contract. Mebane was an effective run-stuffer and great team leader.

However, it clearly made sense to cut the veteran. With the move, the Chargers saved about $4.5 million, which is probably worth more at this point than Mebane’s abilities as a declining run-stuffer.

However, without Mebane, the Chargers have a bit of a hole at nose tackle. While Justin Jones and Jerry Tillery make for a solid duo of improving defensive tackles, both are a bit undersized to serve in the traditional nose tackle role.

Damion Square has done fairly well as a nose tackle, and he really stood out in a few games last season, earning a 63.2 overall grade from PFF.

However, Square is currently an unrestricted free agent. Even with his re-signing though, the Chargers could probably stand to add another large nose tackle to rotate in with Square. It is also worth noting that the run-stuffing Mebane is twenty pounds larger than Square, so having a larger run-stuffing option would be ideal.

Below are some free agent options that could help to replace the hole left in the defensive line by the big-bodied Mebane.

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