Chargers Free Agency

LA Chargers fill a roster need: Grading the Kyler Fackrell signing

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 03: Andy Dalton #14 of the Dallas Cowboys is sacked by Kyler Fackrell #51 of the New York Giants during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on January 03, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 03: Andy Dalton #14 of the Dallas Cowboys is sacked by Kyler Fackrell #51 of the New York Giants during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on January 03, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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On Wednesday, the LA Chargers agreed to a deal with former New York Giants‘ outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell:

we've agreed to terms with Kyler Fackrell » https://t.co/aEGflXxsFt pic.twitter.com/ZFXEtvwc5j

— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) March 24, 2021

This news did come out of nowhere, as there was no indication from a source like Ian Rapaport or Adam Schefter that this was even happening. It was unlikely that Fackrell would be back in New York, but the Chargers’ interest came as a slight surprise to me.

Unfortunately, we don’t know the actual terms of the deal yet. Based on his last few contracts in addition to the Chargers’ cap situation, I would guess that Fackrell’s contract is a one-year deal in the range of $2 to 3 million. It’s probably comparable to Nick Vigil’s 2020 contract.

Fackrell is actually a terrific replacement for Vigil. In his five NFL seasons, Fackrell has played over 1,000 special teams snaps. Considering that the new coaching staff will likely need to rebuild special teams from the ground up, he’s a great chess piece to have. The Chargers have desperately needed some quality core ST players since the departures of Adrian Phillips and Derek Watt.

As a rotational pass rush piece, he’s more useful than some of the other guys the Chargers have had in recent years. Fackrell had two more sacks, 17 more pressures, and 10 more hurries than Vigil did last year.

His 2020 numbers are even better than a true rotational edge rusher like Isaac Rochell, who left to Indianapolis. If Uchenna Nwosu or Joey Bosa need a quick rest, Fackrell is more competent than many of the guys the Chargers had last year.

Perhaps this is just a reflection on how anemic the Chargers pass rush was last year, but Fackrell’s four 2020 sacks would’ve been could enough for third place on the team behind Nwosu and Bosa. Jerry Tillery and Rochell combined had just 1.5 more sacks than the former Giant.

Does this affect what the team does at edge for the rest of free agency or the draft? I don’t think so. Fackrell clearly fills the rotational edge rusher role that Rochell and Vigil had in 2020. Melvin Ingram still lurks around as a free agent and the Chargers can definitely still get an edge in the draft.

As I talked about with the Oday Aboushi signing, the main advantages for the Chargers with this acquisition are flexibility and depth.

Kyler Fackrell signing grade for the LA Chargers: B+

Fackrell provides nice depth at outside linebacker for the Chargers while probably being a key special teamer for coordinator Derius Swinton. He’s unlikely to get the 10.5 sacks he did for Green Bay in 2018 due to his reduced role, but as long as he gets three or four he’ll be fine.

Next. 5 big roster holes that exist after first wave of free agency

He plugs up a hole for the LA Chargers in replacing their departures while also giving them the freedom to decide what they want to do opposite Bosa long term.

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