C: Corey Linsley
Ever since Mike Pouncey’s body broke down on him, the center position has simply never been the same for the Chargers. I give all the credit in the world to Dan Feeney for trying to step into the role, but Los Angeles has to be able to do better than him. If the Chargers do bring Feeney back, it has to be in a depth or backup role.
Pouncey and Feeney are both free agents. That leaves Scott Quessenberry as the only center currently on the books for 2021. Whether it’s through the draft or free agency, Tom Telesco has to acquire some talent here.
Corey Linsley is coming off an NFC Championship run with the Packers. In 2020, Linsley was named as a First-Team All-Pro for the first time in his career.
Perhaps that makes it seem like the Packers should re-sign him. Unfortunately for Green Bay, they find themselves $20 million+ over the current cap estimate. In addition to Linsley being available for other teams, the Packers also have to figure out what they want to do with Aaron Jones, Robert Tonyan, and Allen Lazard in free agency.
There are some similar concerns in this signing that there were with Bulaga. Linsley missed three games late in the season with a knee injury. At the same time, he was also a beast in the playoffs. Linsley had a great effort against Aaron Donald and then the ferocious Tampa defensive line. Some of the other spots on the Packers’ line wore down in the Championship game, but Linsley was still in peak form.
Linsley also isn’t that expensive, at least in comparison to what the Chargers have been paying. His market value via Spotrac is $9.7 million per year, only $700k more than Pouncey’s 2020 cap hit.
If the Chargers wanted to get Thuney and Linsley theoretically, it would cost about $23 million combined in AAV. With Pouncey’s $9 million coming off the books plus the ability to cut Turner’s $11 million, that becomes very doable.