The LA Chargers surprisingly did not draft an offensive lineman in the 2020 NFL Draft, putting faith in the offensive line that the team currently has. Despite the front office’s faith, there are concerns around the offensive line, as it has consistently been the weakest point of the offense in the past several seasons.
After selecting Justin Herbert sixth and trading back into the first for Kenneth Murray, it makes sense why the Chargers did not then draft a tackle. The team was not going to find anyone much better than Trey Pipkins, last year’s third-round pick, in the late rounds, so expecting the team to draft a starting tackle that late was just setting up for disappointment.
Plus, the team has already made some great additions as well. Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga are going to be huge for the right side of the line and a healthy Mike Pouncey would be massive at center, especially because it opens the door for Scott Quessenberry to play left guard.
That would also make it easier to move Forrest Lamp to left tackle to compete for the starting job with Pipkins. The team also has wild-card tackle Storm Norton, who was a big standout tackle in the XFL.
Depth might be an issue but there is a case to be made that the LA Chargers can field an above-average offensive line with the pieces that they currently have. However, if the team has a situation to improve that makes sense financially then they absolutely should pull the trigger.
And they do, as the Chargers are in prime position to sign veteran left tackle, Jason Peters.
Why the LA Chargers are the favorites to sign Jason Peters:
A lot of teams addressed left tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft, which naturally reduced the number of teams that Jason Peters would be a fit for. As Twitter user John Ayers points out, the Chargers are one of just eight teams with over $9 million in cap space. The ninth team, the Buffalo Bills, have $5.3 million in cap space (via Spotrac).
Here's @spotrac's est remaining cap. All teams below LAC have $5M or less to spend. See any teams above who didn't draft an OT or don't already have solid LT/RT? If TT wants Peters, doesn't seem like he'll have much competition for him. @GACPodcast17 pic.twitter.com/TIRmCwWOkf
— John Ayers (@AdroitAyers) April 27, 2020
Why is this important? Well, Peters is likely going to cost more than $5.3 million. Spotrac estimates his market value to be a one-year, $7.8 million. Last season he made $6 million, and I think we will see something around that figure.
That obviously prices out three-fourths of the league and even if he is willing to sign for $4-5 million, that would still restrict the teams that narrowly make that threshold as well. There are eight teams who can afford Jason Peters right now, and despite having the least salary cap space of those eight teams, the Chargers make the most sense.
Most of the other teams either addressed tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft or already have their tackles situated for 2020.
- Cleveland Browns: Drafted Jedrick Wills in the first round, signed Jack Conklin
- Miami Dolphins: Drafted Austin Jackson in the first round, Robert Hunt in the second
- Indianapolis Colts: Re-signed Anthony Castonzo, have Braden Smith
- Tennessee Titans: Have Taylor Lewan, drafted Isaiah Wilson in the first round
- Detroit Lions: Have Taylor Decker at left tackle, signed Halapoulivaati Vaitai
- Seattle Seahawks: Have Duane Brown, signed Brandon Shell
So the only other team that really needs a left tackle and has the money is the Washington Redskins, who just dealt Trent Williams. They did draft Saahdiq Charles in the fourth round but it is unclear if he will even start at this point.
Geron Christian Sr. is not a great left tackle so you could definitely make the case for the team wanting to bring in Peters, but the LA Chargers are a much more desirable destination.
Chargers are better set up for success, are a better run organization (Washington is one of the worst), and benefit from playing in the Sunshine State in a brand-new, multi-billion-dollar stadium.
If I am Jason Peters I am skipping overstaying in the division with the Redskins instantly and looking towards the Chargers.
Would Jason Peters be worth signing for the LA Chargers?
I definitely understand anyone that would have concerns about Peters because of his age, but he is still a solid, above-average, left tackle. He posted an 82.4 grade on Pro Football Focus last season and is one of the best pass-protecting left tackles in the league.
And even if there are durability concerns, as we already mentioned, there are other options in Pipkins or Lamp to back him up. I feel much more comfortable with one of them being plan B rather than plan A.
Most importantly, Peters is a veteran tackle who has seen it all. Adding him to the roster would be exceptional for the development of a player like Pipkins, who has the raw talent to be great but is just a little green.
Pipkins was rushed into the league last season because of injuries and he still held his own fairly well. If you give him some more time to blossom and learn behind one of the best of this generation then the impact is going to be undeniable.
The LA Chargers are a great fit for Jason Peters and Jason Peters would be an excellent signing by the LA Chargers. It is a match made in heaven.