3. Attempting to patch up the roster with overpaid veteran free agents
Personally, I think NFL free agency is one of the most overrated things in all of American sports. Outside of quarterbacks, how often do we see free agents sign with another team and actually be worth the contract they signed?
The examples are few and far between. Of course, you could get valuable production but the success rate on veteran free agents is much lower than developing talent via the draft and undrafted free agents and the LA Chargers are the perfect example.
Who is the best free agent that the Chargers have signed in the last decade? Casey Hayward. The difference with Hayward, though, was that he signed a small three-year, $15.3 million deal. He was only 27 at the time and it was not viewed as a big signing, as the signings of Chris Harris, Bryan Bulaga and Linval Joseph were.
There is nothing wrong with spending in free agency but the Chargers need to do more deals like the Hayward deal than chasing these veterans who might contribute for a year — if that.
Just look at where the team is right now. They are going to have to cut Harris, Hayward or Trai Turner if they even want to open up the space to spend. Free agency is a valuable complementary part of building a team. When you rely on it to fill big roster holes… well… that is when problems are created.