LA Chargers: Alohi Gilman’s 2020 stock up after Teamer cut

Alohi Gilman, LA Chargers rookie (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Alohi Gilman, LA Chargers rookie (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The LA Chargers don’t usually give some of their late-round picks sizable roles, but Alohi Gilman might be in the position to take one.

The LA Chargers released safety Roderic Teamer and five other players in their first round of cuts on Saturday, trimming the roster down to 80:

We've released DT P.J. Johnson, T Koda Martin, WR Andre Patton, TE Jared Rice, S Roderic Teamer and TE Andrew Vollert. Our roster now stands at 80.

— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) August 1, 2020

Teamer wasn’t exactly a surprising cut, generally speaking. His fate seemed to be sealed the moment he was hit with a four-game suspension by the NFL by violating the substances of abuse policy.

Last year, Teamer impressed in the preseason and ended up making the roster as an undrafted free agent. Despite Teamer making the team, 2019 was also a struggle for him. Due to injuries to Derwin James and Adrian Phillips, Teamer found himself in starting several games. It simply was a role that he wasn’t ready for.

In the NFL, the best ability is availability in a lot of regards. Once a low profile player gets hit with a suspension, their value decreases dramatically. I don’t know if Teamer would’ve made the roster without the suspension, but he absolutely would’ve stayed on the team until further cuts.

Alohi Gilman benefits from the LA Chargers cutting Roderic Teamer.

Alohi Gilman’s 2020 stock immediately went up following the cut of Teamer. There are just two strong safeties on the roster now with James and Gilman. That may scare some fans given James’ injury last year, but it was more of a freak injury than one that showed James to be injury-prone.

Gilman’s biggest role will still be on special teams. That was one of his key roles at Notre Dame, and the Chargers have somewhat of a hole there. Derek Watt and Adrian Phillips were huge on special teams throughout their tenures in Los Angeles.

Phillips even made the Pro Bowl as a special teamer specifically. Even if Gilman doesn’t really play on defense this year, a special teams role would still be a huge undertaking.

With Teamer out of the picture, Gilman is likely to some snaps on defense once in a while. James will play 95-100% of the snaps if healthy, but it wouldn’t surprise me for the LA Chargers to create one or two packages that include Gilman.

He’s a great downhill runner and tackler, which can be great when attacking the run or trying to prevent a screen pass. Don’t expect to see him in pass coverage schemes yet, but he’ll certainly make an impact on a few plays here and there.

What role Gilman plays in the long term with the LA Chargers remains to be seen, but he certainly seems to be on pace to have a decently sized role in 2020. Special teams is a role he could take following the departures of key Chargers who played there.

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Teamer being cut also gives him a clear path to being the backup strong safety, a role that could still see him used in some sets even with James taking the wide majority of snaps.