The biggest goal for the LA Chargers this offseason was to improve the offensive line to help protect Justin Herbert. While Herbert was elite when pressured, it is not a sustainable recipe for success for him to be the most pressured quarterback in the league.
The front office accomplished the goal. While the new offensive line still has to prove it on the field, on paper, it is significantly better than last year. The Chargers’ offensive line went from being the worst in the league to being around the median, according to Pro Football Focus. That is progress.
First-round pick Rashawn Slater will be protecting Herbert’s blindside with new additions Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler slated to start in the interior. Oday Aboushi and Brenden Jaimes will compete for the other guard spot while Bryan Bulaga will hopefully stay healthy to provide quality snaps.
While the offensive line is currently set, the LA Chargers could take a chance and bring in a former All-Pro guard who could further help bolster the O-line.
The LA Chargers should absolutely take a flier on David DeCastro.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, David DeCastro was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers in what was a shocking move on Thursday. DeCastro is a two-time All-Pro and has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of the last six seasons.
While the Steelers did save over $8 million against the cap by releasing DeCastro, that does not appear to be the reason for the release. DeCastro is dealing with an ankle injury that he had surgery on, and is contemplating his future in the league.
DeCastro has been having his ankle evaluated recently, sources said. He’s had issues with it for quite some time. Had surgery on it before last season. He’s evaluating his future. https://t.co/pzokwBJ3CT
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 24, 2021
If DeCastro wants to retire then none of this obviously matters but if the only thing holding him back from playing is a team being interested then the Chargers should jump in. Yes, he is on the wrong side of 30 and is dealing with injuries, but it does not hurt the team at all to make this move.
The Chargers have just under $20 million in cap space that will likely roll over to next season and DeCastro won’t really put a dent in that at all. A contract for an injured veteran is going to be small and is going to be extremely incentive-based. Worst-case scenario, the Chargers may lose out on $1 million if it does not work out. They can afford it.
Best-case scenario is that he gets healthy, even if it is midseason, and can provide the Chargers the same quality snaps that he provided Pittsburgh. He would replace Aboushi/Jaimes and even if he is not a Pro Bowler, would still be an above-average guard if healthy.
It is far from a guarantee to be successful but the great thing about this move is that the ceiling is so high with no risk. If it does not work out then the LA Chargers simply roll with the guard options that the team already has.
It is a no-brainer for the LA Chargers. Take a flier on David DeCastro.