LA Chargers: 4 last-minute free-agent signings for 2020

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(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

With training camp right around the corner, the LA Chargers could make a few improvements with some key signings.

The LA Chargers will have to cut the roster from 86 to 80 around the time that training camp begins. Even with that being the case, there are some guys out on the open market that could help the team in 2020. There will always be tough cuts to make, but it’s worth seeing what a still relatively deep free agent pool has out there.

Perhaps the LA Chargers will stand pat like many other teams in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, but there are some interesting names they could sign to short term deals if they want to be aggressive.

LA Chargers’ last-minute free agent target: DT Marcell Dareus

Much like with the offensive line, the interior of the defensive line isn’t stacked. Linval Joseph is a big addition to the interior, but other than him it’s really Jerry Tillery and Justin Jones. Both have the potential to grow in their respective second and third seasons, but there’s not a lot of development taking place this offseason.

Marcell Dareus was injured in 2019 but played pretty well in Jacksonville during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Personally, I don’t think he has the potential like Warford of being a Pro Bowl level player again, but he could provide nice depth or push Tillery and Jones. Pressure up the middle, especially vs. the run, is something that has to be way better than it was in 2019 for the Chargers to have success in 2020.

Tim Jernigan and Damon Harrison would also be interesting options at defensive tackle should the Chargers decide to go that way. Jernigan is less efficient as a run stopper though and Harrison is still deciding whether he’s interested in playing in the 2020 season at all, which comes at a time when many NFL players are deciding to opt-out.

By no means is Dareus a leading option, but he’s OK depth on the cheap. In a season with less player development and difficult circumstances, the Chargers could use more experienced players in the trenches.