Free agency nears for the LA Chargers and they’ll have some work to do in shoring up the 2021 roster. While the Chargers obviously won’t sign a player from every position, it’s important to lay out the potential options they have.
I’ve separated this into three categories of players. First, you have your big-money free-agent starters. Players who are expected to get the best or one of the top five most expensive deals at their position fall into this category.
Next, there are some interesting low risk-high reward names that the Chargers could take a chance on. Finally, there are the depth pieces to pursue as strict backups to positions that are already shored up.
Here is one free-agent at every position for the LA Chargers to pursue
QB: Jameis Winston
Tyrod Taylor’s return to the Chargers in 2021 is up in the air. Wherever he goes, he probably wants a shot at the starting job. Whether that’s facing off against a rookie quarterback or another veteran, it’s simply not an opportunity he’d have in Los Angeles next year.
Joe Lombardi came over to be offensive coordinator after leading the Saints’ quarterback room. Could Jameis Winston follow him to LA?
Personally, I don’t trust Easton Stick as an NFL caliber backup yet. He obviously hasn’t gotten much playing time and didn’t have a preseason last year to get some snaps. Who knows if we even have a preseason or a normal offseason regimen in 2021?
Justin Herbert took some nasty shots last year, some of which forced him to leave the game for a few plays. In that situation, or any period where he’s out for a week, Winston is a good guy to have.
Sean Payton made his point clear this week that the Saints plan to re-sign Winston in the event that Drew Brees does retire. The variable that can’t be accounted for there though is what the Saints want to do with Taysom Hill. Is Hill a day one starter for them next season? Is he a gadget guy with Winston starting? Is it a quarterback competition?
Winston’s role would be well defined in Los Angeles and doesn’t present much risk. There’s no chance of him losing a quarterback battle. He’d be second on the depth chart with a quarterbacks coach he’s familiar with as his offensive coordinator. Maybe the team could use him for a few trick plays a year, as we saw in the divisional round vs. Tampa.
Money could also talk a little bit here. Winston made just over a million to be on the Saints’ roster this year. Offering QB2 to him with about the average salary Taylor made (1 year, $5 million) seems wise to me. No weird gadget Hill obsession sounds pretty good for him too. Good word of mouth from his tenure could earn him serious consideration for a starting situation somewhere else in 2022.