The contract is worth $1.75 million and may appear to some to simply be a depth signing for the Chargers. However, Smith has a very specific purpose for the LA Chargers and will improve one of the worst areas of the team last season.
Smith is a special teams standout, particularly as a gunner on the punt team. The Chargers were historically bad on special teams last season and while there were a lot of other issues with the team, the special teams unit really held them back.
Signing Ryan Smith is fantastic LA Chargers news.
One player is not going to fix everything wrong with this side of the football overnight but it is clear that Tom Telesco and Brandon Staley are intent on taking the issue head-on. Smith is a step in the right direction and could be a precursor to some late-round draft picks that the team makes with the focus on special teams.
If there is one play that perfectly encapsulates the kind of player that the LA Chargers will be getting with Smith, it is the one below.
When is the last time that we have seen a gunner do this for the LA Chargers. Granted, we cannot expect it every single play, but the Bolts are getting a sure tackler in both the punt and kickoff units that is sure to not only produce at a high level, but help establish a new culture on that side of the football, which is the most important thing.
Smith is not going to be a big player on the defensive side of the football. He was really poor in coverage in the chances he got earlier in his career and while Staley is a defensive genius, it is a waste of Smith’s talent to put him on that side of the football.
It is a tad-bit surprising that Tom Telesco signed Smith with his past suspension in the NFL. Telesco typically stays away from players with anything but a squeaky clean track record. Smith does not have that, as he served a four-game suspension at the start of the 2019 season for PEDs.
Regardless, the Chargers get massive help in the area that they arguably need it the most and take one more step towards being a more complete football team. A great signing with all things considered.