The LA Chargers made some splashes in free agency this offseason but still have plenty of money to spend. According to Over The Cap, the Chargers still have just under $20 million in cap space to work with this season.
A good chunk of that is going to go to Rashawn Slater, who still has not been signed by the team. Regardless, the team has more than enough money to spend, especially if they spend it now. Free agents at this point are not worth nearly as much as they were three months ago.
And while the leftover cap will roll over to next season and that is enticing, the Chargers should not pass on the opportunity to make this year’s team better just to save a couple of bucks. Of the free agents available, there is one that stands out as a great potential addition for the Bolts.
K.J. Wright would be the perfect addition for the LA Chargers
The LA Chargers are transitioning to a defense that is going to be more aligned with a 3-4 defense (Brandon Staley has not yet fully committed to a 3-4 defense but most of what we have seen is based in 3-4).
That creates the need for outside linebackers. While the Chargers have some options currently on the roster, there is nothing wrong with adding depth, especially with the way the roster is currently constructed. Kenneth Murray and Drue Tranquill are going to stay behind the ball in the middle of the field, so they are not options at outside linebacker
Joey Bosa could be the OLB in pass-rushing situations but I do not love using him fully in that manner when it comes to dropping back into coverage. A good OLB needs to be able to drop into coverage when needed on disguised pressures.
Of course, having Bosa do that here and there will throw off the opposing offense, but I don’t love the idea if taking Bosa out of the pass rush too often. He needs to be in the trenches and is likely going to move up and down that defensive line, spending a lot of time at defensive end.
Uchenna Nwosu is going to get the most snaps as a traditional outside linebacker and while a lot of Charger fans are high on him, he has yet to prove that he can produce at a high level across a big snap count. He has the tools, but as all Charger fans should know, nothing is guaranteed.
And even if Nwosu does succeed the team could use some depth. Kyzir White could help out some at OLB but he should be spending most of his time inside. The Chargers’ only real other options are Kyler Fackrell and Chris Rumph.
Fackrell is a solid special teams player who is fine as a rotation player and I have no problem with him being in an outside linebacker rotation, although he ideally should not play more than 20% of the defensive snaps.
Rumph has shown some promising signs in college but he is very raw. The rookie is better in pass-rush and cannot really be trusted at all to be in coverage as a rookie. This is a developmental pick at its finest and the Chargers need some insurance to not throw him to the wolves and hurt the defense.
That is where Wright comes in. He has a ton of experience playing outside linebacker and is one of the better outside linebackers in coverage. Sure, he is getting up there in age and is not the same player he was even two years ago, but he would provide quality, veteran depth that would not only complete the depth chart but help these younger guys as well.
Melvin Ingram is also a possibility and while I would not rule that out either, Wright is a more traditional outside linebacker and that is more of what the team needs. With the change to a 3-4 defense and with Bosa bouncing around the defensive line, I would much rather see the team bring in a fifth outside linebacker in Wright instead of running five defensive tackles.
Will the LA Chargers do it? Probably not. It seems like the team is intent on rolling the cap over next year. But would it be a good move for the Bolts? Absolutely.