Pros and cons of the LA Chargers signing Corey Linsley:
Pro: The LA Chargers spent big money on the right offensive line position
I am not a big fan of the LA Chargers overspending on veteran free agents and over-relying on them instead of building out a roster — that is why the offensive line has been a revolving door of talent and the Chargers have failed to build a legitimately consistent offensive line.
This is an exception. If the LA Chargers were going to spend big on an offensive lineman then Linsley was the right choice. There should be plenty of youth heading to LA. The team should pick an offensive lineman in the first round and probably will draft another lineman at some point in the draft.
After the 2021 season, the team could be drafting Bryan Bulaga’s replacement at right tackle as well. With so much youth, it makes sense to get a veteran leader in Linsley that also just played with the MVP and can translate some of that success to Justin Herbert.
Pro: The contract is a five-year deal that can essentially operate as a three-year deal
The LA Chargers covered themselves in case age does catch up to Corey Linsley. The team signed a five-year deal with Linsley to keep him in LA as long as he is productive for the team. However, if age catches up to him or he regresses the team can get out of the deal, reasonably, after three years.
Linsley will cost only $5.2 million against the cap if released before 2024 ($8.9 million freed up) and will only cost $2.6 million ($14.5 million freed up) if released before 2025. The cap number inflates late in the contract, which is an extremely smart thing to do for the Chargers.
Not only can they get out of it and save the most money, but they have more money to spend in the near future.
Con: The off chance that Linsley cannot find his 2020 form
Corey Linsley had a career year in 2020 and while he has always been a solid center at the NFL level, he definitely was not the best center in the league prior to the 2020 season. While (hopefully) unlikely, it is possible that Linsley reverts back to his old level of production and is overpaid as a result.
The Chargers would still be getting a good center, just not a great one if that was the case. According to Pro Football Focus, Linsley allowed just seven quarterback pressures in 2020, which was by far his career-best.
In 2019 he allowed 22 pressures, in 2018 he allowed 18 pressure and in 2017 he allowed a career-worst 26 pressures. For comparison’s sake, Dan Feeney allowed 33 pressures in 2020.