Chargers must avoid signing polarizing free agent with ties to Joe Hortiz

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It took less than a week for the LA Chargers to find a general manager to pair with Jim Harbaugh to usher in a new era for the franchise. The Chargers finalized a deal with Joe Hortiz on Monday night to make him the team's next general manager after he served over two decades in the Baltimore Ravens' organization.

The Ravens are one of the best, most consistent franchises in the sport and adding someone from that regime is a huge win for the Bolts. If Hortiz takes similar philosophies to Los Angeles then fans will see a Chargers team that operates completely differently from the previous decade.

As great as this hire is and as exciting as it is to be a Chargers fan, no executive is perfect and fans shouldn't assume that Hortiz is going to come in and have a 100% hit rate. Hortiz will still make mistakes, the great GMs are the ones who can minimize those mistakes.

One mistake Hortiz can't afford to make in his first season with the Chargers is bringing in a very polarizing free-agent wide receiver that he has ties to. While he is a big name that some fans may latch onto, it would ultimately be a bad move for the Bolts.

Chargers must avoid signing Odell Beckham Jr. after hiring Joe Hortiz

Odell Beckham Jr. spent the 2023 season with the Ravens and it is not unreasonable to think that his ties to the front office could create some dialogue with Hortiz now that he is in Los Angeles.

On paper, signing Odell makes a lot of sense. The Chargers are going to need wide receiver help with Mike Williams likely being a cap casualty and Beckham is familiar with Los Angeles and would love to return to sunny Southern California. Odell is a big name, but he isn't going to sign at a premium price, which theoretically puts him in the Chargers' price range.

All that being said, the last thing the Chargers need is another receiver with miles on his legs that is prone to getting hurt. Even if Beckham is coming at a fair price, the Chargers are better off taking a risk on a cheaper free agent that is younger than bringing Beckham in.

Many people don't realize just how old Beckham is in the game of football. Even though he seems much younger, Beckham is the same age as Keenan Allen and has already regressed far more than Allen has. While he didn't benefit from having Justin Herbert, Beckham only finished with 565 yards on 35 catches in 2023.

If Beckham was willing to sign at the league minimum then sure, he could be a nice depth addition for LA. The problem is that he will still go above that number because of his name and he is going to want to be featured in the offense. Beckham is not the type of receiver who is going to sign a cheap deal to be the WR4.

And if the Chargers are in a place where they are heavily featuring Beckham then they are in trouble. And if Beckham is meant to be the solution at wide receiver in 2024 then the new front office did a bad job.