Why the LA Chargers probably won’t cut Casey Hayward
2. The LA Chargers should cut Chris Harris before considering Casey Hayward
I am not totally against the LA Chargers cutting a veteran cornerback this offseason. In fact, if there was a better alternative then I would suggest cutting Hayward and taking that alternative. The point of the first slide was that I do not think there is a better alternative that exists with the free-agent market and how the team is going to draft.
There is a better alternative to go with Chris Harris, though. Harris was primarily a slot corner for the Chargers in 2020 and that is much easier to replace in the draft or free agency (with cheaper options) than outside corner is.
Since certain players get pigeonholed into being just a slot corner, their draft value often falls and their free agency price does as well. The reason why Harris got so much is because of his namesake and the fact that he did play outside corner in Denver.
That means that the Chargers could get someone who could play and produce right away in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft or could sign someone who produces at least at the same level as Harris but for much cheaper.
Yes, the Chargers will free up more by cutting Hayward but the position is much more important and in Brandon Staley’s defense I am optimistic that Hayward can be slightly better, especially if the team plays with two deep safeties, which they almost certainly will.
If I had to pick which corner will be better next season I would pick Hayward. That, mixed with the importance of an outside corner and how thin it is for the Chargers, puts Harris on the chopping block before Hayward.