Chargers Free Agency

LA Chargers: 4 defensive free agents that could still help the team

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 27: Tashaun Gipson Sr. #38 of the Chicago Bears enters the field for the second half of a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on December 27, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 27: Tashaun Gipson Sr. #38 of the Chicago Bears enters the field for the second half of a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on December 27, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

The main wave of NFL free agency is over but there are new moves that are trickling across the league transaction page every single day. While the market no longer has the best names available, there are still some productive free agents to pursue.

The LA Chargers have the cap space to bring in several free agents at this point in the offseason. Free agents this late in the offseason are naturally cheaper and the Chargers have enough salary-cap space to sign 2-3 free agents.

The Athletic’s Daniel Popper has been breaking down the Chargers’ spending space by factoring in necessary budgeting (NFL Draft, in-season moves, etc.). His last update has the Chargers at $11.35 million.

Some official 2021 #Chargers cap numbers just came in courtesy of @Jason_OTC

Jared Cook — $4.5MKyler Fackrell — $1.5MRyan Smith — $1.5M Brandon Facyson — $945K

That brings my spending space number to $11.35M, factoring in all necessary budgeting

— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) April 1, 2021

There are some talented free agents still available that can help the LA Chargers with that money.

1. Steven Nelson, CB

Steven Nelson was granted his release by the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason and remains, arguably, the best cornerback available on the free-agent market. That raises his price, but the longer he stays a free agent the lower that price is going to be.

The Chargers can absolutely afford Nelson either way.

The Chargers need secondary depth and while the team is most likely going to draft a cornerback early in the 2021 NFL Draft, it would not hurt to bring in a free agent. Not only will that help the team’s depth, but it is insurance in the case that the rookie corner is not a big contributor right away.

Let’s not forget that there is a learning curve in the NFL and whoever the Chargers draft will likely have some hiccups in year one.

Nelson is not an elite cornerback by any sense but he is someone who has primarily played out wide while also playing both in the slot and the box. He checks the versatility box for the Chargers and allowed only an 81.5 passer rating while targeted, per Pro Football Focus.

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