The LA Chargers kickstarted NFL free agency in a fantastic way. When tampering became ‘legal’ on Monday there were three significant signings that were reported: Corey Linsley, Michael Davis and Matt Feiler.
The Chargers did not make another acquisition on Tuesday or Wednesday and some former players have left the team. Hunter Henry joined the New England Patriots, Tyrod Taylor joined the Houston Texans and Denzel Perryman is all-but out the door.
The team also released Trai Turner and Casey Hayward to free up money before all of this. To some, this has been a frustrating free agency period as ‘coupon’ Tom Telesco is sitting on some of the most cap space in the league while other players are getting signed.
To those that are getting frustrated, I have one thing to say: relax, it is going to be okay.
The LA Chargers are doing exceptional in free agency.
The LA Chargers have spent money where they absolutely needed to. The team made Corey Linsley the highest-paid center in NFL history, forked over the cash to keep the very important Michael Davis (who is now the best value corner in the league) and struck on a fantastic deal with Feiler which is wonderfully valued as well.
Sure, they have not made any moves since, but the team is not going to make moves just for the sake of making moves. They have their guys that they are targeting and it makes no sense to go off of that just so they can spend the money as quickly as possible.
Operating as if there is a hole burning in their pocket is simply the wrong way to do business and the team knows that. There are still valuable free agents out on the market, such as Troy Hill, that the team can spend the cap space on.
Anyone getting frustrated at the Chargers’ lack of activity is judging an incomplete body of work as if it is complete. I am a Dodger fan (sorry to any Padre fans out there) and I see this all the time. For example, Dodger fans were livid in the 2019 offseason that the team did not do anything. They were calling for Andrew Friedman’s job and saying he was a terrible executive, the whole nine yards.
Then the team pulls off the biggest trade in franchise history for Mookie Betts and wins the World Series. Those fans that were complaining were assuming that they would not make a move and were judging the entire offseason when the offseason was not over. The same can be said for the Chargers.
And the players that the LA Chargers have let walk away were just fine. I am a big Hunter Henry fan but I cannot fault the team for not wanting to commit $12.5 million for at least the next two years to Henry. Some fans are livid about that but also didn’t want the team to pick up Mike Williams’ $15.8 million option.
So you would pay a tight end who has never crossed 700 yards $12.5 million for at least the next two years but would not pay a 1,000-yard receiver who is still young $15.8 million over just one season? That does not make sense.
Plus, the entire notion that the LA Chargers are cheap is so unfounded that I just cannot even wrap my head around how that narrative started. Yes, in the past, the Chargers have been cheap and the team moving to LA because Dean Spanos did not want to finance a stadium in San Diego is still rubbing fans the wrong way. I get that.
But the Chargers just signed Joey Bosa and Keenan Allen to massive contract extensions, consistently made Philip Rivers one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league and have spent big money this offseason.
According to Over the Cap, the Chargers have dished out $108.7 million in total money and $55.5 million in guaranteed money. Only four teams have spent more than the Chargers this offseason — San Francisco (only because of Trent Williams), Jacksonville, Dallas (only because of Dak Prescott) and New England.
The two teams with the most cap space in the league (Jacksonville and New England) and two teams that had to extend their respective stars. If we count the new Bosa and Allen contracts, since they technically start in 2021, the Chargers have committed $323.8 million in total money and $200.5 million in total guarantees.
That is just under $54 million more than the Patriots have given out in total money and $48 million more in total guarantees.
But the LA Chargers are cheap, right?
I definitely do not hesitate to criticize Tom Telesco and have done so numerous times in the past but this — this is unjustified.