LA Chargers: 4 biggest takeaways from the first wave of free agency

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(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

3. There is a tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft that the team likes to be a long-term option

The LA Chargers lost Hunter Henry to the New England Patriots and to replace him the team signed Jared Cook to a one-year, $6 million contract with $4.5 million guaranteed. It was a bargain signing, and while I personally was not a fan (because of Cook’s age), most fans seemed to really like it.

Regardless of what your take on Cook is the fact of the matter is that he is not a long-term option. He probably is not even a two-year option. Cook signed a one-year deal and that is likely going to be the extent of his tenure with the Chargers.

The Bolts need a long-term solution at the position.

This tells me that there is someone, or perhaps a handful of prospects, that the Chargers really like in the mid-rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. Tommy Tremble out of Notre Dame is a fan-favorite option for the team to pick in the third round and Telesco does love to pick Notre Dame prospects, so it feels like a possibility.

Regardless of who it is, the Chargers are going to take a tight end higher than most expected as they do not have that long-term option and the best-case scenario is getting someone in for a season to learn and develop instead of throwing a rookie out there next year.

And I know what you are thinking: what about Donald Parham? I am a big fan of Parham and was a big supporter of the signing last offseason, but we do need to slow down. Parham has not shown the ability to block well enough to be a TE1 and while he is exciting, he has not proven to be anything more than a red-zone target.

Could he blossom into a TE1? Sure. But he has not shown enough for the LA Chargers to fully trust in him to do so and ignore the position in the draft.