It’s fair to say the LA Chargers can use an upgrade on the offensive line. Well, actually it’s fair to say the Chargers could use multiple upgrades on the O-Line.
PFF ranked the Chargers dead last in their 2020 offensive line rankings at the end of the season. It’s probably debatable as to whether the Chargers are dead last, but they’re certainly in the bottom five. Sam Tevi was the highest graded starter on the team while Storm Norton was the highest graded lineman.
Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga should’ve given the line a boost. It didn’t work out that way considering the injuries both dealt with in 2020. Bulaga ranked 29th among tackles on PFF while Turner was the second worst guard they graded in the entire league. Considering his 2021 cap hit, Turner may not even be back next season.
The Chargers have plenty of cap space if they want to make offensive line moves. $30 million+ in cap space can grow even larger with some cuts and restructuring.
C Corey Linsley
Can Corey Linsley give the LA Chargers what a healthy Mike Pouncey did?
If there’s an offensive line target for the Chargers to go all in on, it’s Corey Linsley. It’s not a stretch to say that he’s the best center in the league. 2020 was his first All-Pro season with the Packers. Out of 36 graded centers, Linsley ranked first in the league on PFF. He allowed just one sack in 2020 and four total pressures.
I know what you may be thinking. The Packers’ connection might make one think back to the Bulaga signing. That doesn’t look so hot after a tough, injury-riddled year for the Iowa product. Simply put, Linsley is in a different stratosphere of linemen.
Bulaga was very good compared to what the Chargers had on the line in 2019, but not many would say he was top five or top ten tackle in the league. You’d be crazy not to say that about Linsley relative to the center position currently.
Health is also a positive when comparing this signing to Bulaga’s last year. In the last four seasons, Linsley started 61 out of a possible 64 games. Bulaga started just 45 in that span.
Linsley’s Market Value on Spotrac is just $9.7 million per season. For context, Mike Pouncey’s 2020 Chargers’ cap hit was $9 million. An extra million on two on top of what the Chargers were already paying at the position really isn’t much.
This would be such a massive upgrade for the Chargers. Dan Feeney ranked 35th out of those same 36 PFF graded centers I mentioned. Get your franchise center here and then Tom Telesco doesn’t have to worry about it in the draft.
Bringing Feeney back in a depth role wouldn’t be bad, but I’ve seen enough to say that he’s not going to develop into a true starter anytime soon.
Corey Linsley in FA: Buy