Bills gift the Chargers an impeccable free-agent target at key position

Buffalo Bills v Los Angeles Chargers
Buffalo Bills v Los Angeles Chargers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

There are several roster holes that the LA Chargers need to fill this offseason and they have to do so with limited resources. After the Chargers execute their inevitable cap-saving measures, the team will have just enough space to make a handful of cheap signings in free agency.

In a perfect world, these signings would not only fill the holes on the roster but would also come via players who were released by their previous teams. If a player was released by their respective team then they do not count towards the compensatory formula, which would allow the Chargers to make additions but still get more picks in the 2025 NFL Draft.

NFL fans are starting to see a flurry of moves with teams needing to become cap-compliant before free agency. As a result, several new faces have hit free agency with some of those new faces being solid fits for the Chargers.

The best potential fit was released Wednesday afternoon by the Buffalo Bills. In one of several cuts to make cap space, Buffalo released veteran center Mitch Morse.

Mitch Morse would be a perfect free-agent signing for the Chargers

The center position is one of the biggest needs for the Chargers this offseason with Corey Linsley retiring after the 2023 season. With the Chargers looking to rebuild the running game under Jim Harbaugh, nailing the center position is extremely important this offseason.

There are a lot of talented centers in this year's draft that the Chargers could turn to. But unless you are getting one of the two or three best centers (which would take a first or second-round pick) then there is no guarantee that these rookie centers would be good in their first season.

That is not to say that they won't be successful in the long run but the center position is so much more than just being a good blocker. A great center also helps realize pressure packages and shifts the protection to either help the run game or protect the quarterback. Rookie centers can do that, but there is naturally a big leap when coming to the NFL.

Thus, the Chargers may want to turn to a veteran center in a market that was pretty depleted before Wednesday. With Morse now on the market, the Chargers have a candidate who is a former Pro Bowler who is coming off a strong season in 2023.

Morse might not be as good as Linsley was for the Chargers but he is certainly an above-average center and he has shown no signs of regression yet in his career. Morse might not be the best run-blocker, but he is at least serviceable in that regard and is a good pass-blocking center.

The veteran center ranked 12th among 27 centers (with at least 500 pass-blocking snaps) in pass-blocking efficiency. In 2022 he ranked 13th out of 25 with an efficiency that was one-hundredths of a percent better. Even though he is on the wrong side of 30, Morse has been consistent.

Assuming the cost is not too high, signing Morse could give the Chargers the best of both worlds. The team could get a veteran to hold down the fort for a reason that does not cost them any compensatory picks in 2025. This would allow the team to develop a rookie center (let's say, Michigan's Drake Nugent) without being forced to throw them into the fire in year one.

Mitch Morse might not be an All-Pro center but he is certainly a serivceable one that can serve as a cheap bridge to the future.