Biggest swing the Chargers may take in free agency is terrifying

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Chargers are currently over next season's projected salary cap but the team has the means to get in the green. It will only take a handful of moves for the Chargers to get far enough below the cap where the team can spend some in free agency.

Los Angeles will still be restricted in the moves it can make in the offseason as even though the team can make space, there won't be enough space for any big signings. Most of the Chargers' moves are going to be around the edges, as that is all the team can really afford this offseason.

That being said, the Chargers can create enough space to make one big swing at a prominent player this offseason. If the Chargers are going to make a big swing, the writing is pretty much on the wall about what the move will be; and quite frankly, it should terrify Chargers fans (even if it seems exciting at first glance).

Chargers' biggest swing in free agency would be signing Saquon Barkley or Derrick Henry

The biggest move the Chargers could reasonably make in free agency this year would be to sign one of the marquee running backs on the market. The running back market has cratered in recent years, making these top-of-the-line backs available at a fraction of the cost.

Just because it is the biggest move the Chargers can make does not mean it is the best move. In fact, Chargers fans should be terrified of the team getting too excited about signing a big-name running back.

Derrick Henry is on the wrong side of 30 and he is starting to slow down a step. We all saw last season how quickly regression can hit a running back with Austin Ekeler. Henry has always been a better back than Ekeler, but it would not be surprising at all if next year is the year he finally regresses a lot.

Barkley might not be on the wrong side of 30 but he has a laundry list of injuries in his back pocket and isn't as impactful of a running back as some like to believe. Despite being an undeniably massive name in the sport, Barkley's numbers are not all that great. Last season he averaged 3.9 yards per carry and had a 40.1% success rate, both were among the bottom of the league.

Sure, he did not have the best offensive line in front of him in New York but it is not like the Chargers are touting some amazing run-blocking offensive line, either.

Spending top-of-the-line money for these backs, even if they are cheaper than they would have been in previous years, would be a mistake by the Chargers. Every year running backs prove why the market is decreasing and every year we are reminded on why teams should not pay running backs marquee money.

The Chargers cannot be the team that ends up with egg on its face after buying into the Barkley/Henry hype. Joe Hortiz and the front office have to be smarter than that regardless of how tempting it is.