Chargers' coaching addition hints towards one specific free agent
The Chargers have not undergone a complete coaching staff overhaul this offseason but it has been pretty close. After firing Joe Lombardi and replacing him with Kellen Moore, the team has made a slew of coaching additions and subtractions as Brandon Staley enters his third season as head coach.
It seemed like the Bolts were done adding coaches to the staff but that is not the case at all. It was reported on Friday that the Chargers are expected to hire Georgia Southern defensive coordinator Will Harris to be a defensive backs coach next season.
This may not seem like a big hire and it may not seem like it impacts the Chargers all that much. However, as we know, connections are everything in the NFL and adding Harris specifically to the coaching staff may hint towards the team pursuing a very specific free-agent defensive back.
Taylor Rapp may be a free-agent target for the Chargers in 2023.
Shoutout to friend of Bolt Beat, Steven Haglund, for first pointing out the connection that safety Taylor Rapp has to the LA Chargers coaching staff. Not only did he play under Brandon Staley in 2020 but he spent several years with Will Harris at Washington, where Harris was a DBs coach.
Rapp checks multiple boxes for the LA Chargers. Not only does he now have serious connections with the coaching staff but he would fill an actual area of need for the team. Nasir Adderley is a free agent this offseason and it seems extremely unlikely that he is going to get a new deal from the Bolts.
JT Woods did not show nearly enough to trust in him being the starting free safety next season and the safety class in 2023 is not that great. With other needs in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Chargers probably can't draft a safety until day three. Sure, they can get someone who develops into something promising, but trusting a late-round rookie to start is a big ask.
Rapp knows Staley's defense and can instantly step in and do all the things that Adderley was not doing. The former Washington safety is by no means an elite player at his position but he is certainly above average. Rapp has six interceptions over his last two seasons.
The only problem is Rapp's potential cost. The Chargers are not in a position to spend much in free agency and Rapp's projected deal is enough to break the bank. Pro Football Focus projects Rapp to get a three-year, $21.75 million contract.
That is almost identical to what Drue Tranquill is projected to get. While safety is more valuable in Staley's defense than linebacker, the team would probably rather spend that kind of money on retaining Tranquill (or retaining someone like Morgan Fox).
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If the Chargers can get cute with the contract and have Rapp take a small cap hit in 2023 then it is possible. It might not be the best use of the money according to fans but Staley has already proven multiple times how much he values prior connections.