Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports – LA Chargers
2. Tom Telesco should know by now that these veteran free agents aren’t as good on the LA Chargers as expected
This is my biggest gripe with the LA Chargers general manager. Telesco has drafted one offensive lineman in the first round in the eight years he has been the GM. He has drafted an additional one offensive lineman in the second round as well.
THIS DOESN’T WORK.
Instead of drafting high-end offensive lineman, Telesco has consistently and constantly turned to experienced players to fill in the gap. Bryan Bulaga, Trai Turner, Mike Pouncey, Russell Okung, King Dunlap… the list goes on and on.
The problem with these veterans is that they either quickly regress or they have more miles on their bodies and cannot stay healthy as much as a young offensive lineman. Case in point: Bulaga, Turner and Pouncey JUST THIS SEASON.
It is not just offensive linemen, though. Linval Joseph is okay but he is certainly not worth the contract he was given. Chris Harris has a game-saving interception against Vegas but absolutely has not been worth eight-figures.
He paid all of those veteran free agents (and in the case of Turner, traded for him) while letting a valuable player like Adrian Phillips walk for $3 million.
It doesn’t work. The best way to build a roster is through the draft and Telesco’s drafting outside of the first round has been absolutely woeful the last three years, so he has had to fill in the gaps with bad signings.
History repeats itself. If the LA Chargers had any ounce of common sense, they would avoid making salary cap room by cutting guys only to sign more experienced players that will regress and be more likely to get injured.