Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports – LA Chargers
Melvin Ingram: LA Chargers
I am in the extreme minority here but I do think that Melvin Ingram returns to the LA Chargers on a 1-2 year deal this offseason. Most fans have already completely written Ingram off of the team but with the team needs, I think it is pretty likely that he returns.
First of all, most fans have written Ingram off because of the conceived notion that he is going to be too expensive for the team. I do not think that is the case. I predicted Ingram to get a two-year, $10 million contract with only $6 million or so guaranteed. That is absolutely in the LA Chargers’ price range.
I find it hard-pressed to believe that Ingram will get anything more than this. Perhaps he gets slightly more on just a one-year deal, but even that is unlikely. Ingram is on the wrong side of 30 and battled injuries last season, both lowering his value on the free-agent market.
The example I always use is Everson Griffen. Griffen got a one-year, $6 million contract at a similar age coming off of a Pro Bowl season, but we expect some team to way overspend for Ingram when there are solid first-round edge rush options?
And that brings us back to the LA Chargers. Assuming Ingram walks away creates a need at edge rusher. There are great early-round options for the Bolts, but they have far bigger needs to address (offensive line, cornerback) before edge rusher, reducing the chances of finding someone who could make an impact right away.
The Chargers can still draft an edge in the mid-rounds and have Ingram there as depth with that rookie and Uchenna Nwosu. He is a great leader who his teammates seem to love and Telesco typically tends to value that trait.