NT Sebastian Joseph-Day: 3 years, $24 million ($16.5 million guaranteed)
Sebastian Joseph-Day represents the second largest external free agent investment the Chargers made last offseason with his total contract and guarantees, only being eclipsed by Jackson. The signing made all the sense in the world as Staley desperately needed to build up a defense that had to stuff the run on the interior.
The results in 2022 are a mixed bag for me. The first disclaimer is that of course the defensive line situation around him was far from ideal. Despite being top 15 in run stops amongst qualified defensive tackles himself, the Chargers were not capable of being a good run defense this year with the impact of the injuries on the line that surrounded Joseph-Day.
But there was some relative regression for Joseph-Day as a pass rusher. In 372 pass-rushing snaps, the former Ram put up just 18 pressures. Year to year, Joseph-Day dropped about 2% in pressures per pass rush. In 362 more snaps this year, he had just three more pressures than in 2021.
Of course, if we talk about pass rush win rate like we talk about overall run defense, the attrition around the rest of the defensive line adversely affected Joseph-Day as a pass rusher as well. But on the same graphic, Fox faced a significantly higher double-team rate than Joseph-Day while having a better win rate.
Joseph-Day's numbers will look prettier against the run next year if the rest of the defense stays healthy, but more individual production as a pass rusher is needed for the price the Chargers paid.
Sebastian Joseph-Day signing grade: B-
DT Austin Johnson: 2 years, $14 million ($10.6 million guaranteed)
After mentioning Joseph-Day and the attrition on the line around him, it's time to talk about one of the unfortunate prime examples of that in Austin Johnson. He injured his MCL and fractured his knee in Week 9 against Atlanta, causing him to miss the entire second half of the season.
But for me, there was enough statistically and on tape to say that Johnson was a pretty good signing in year one. Relative to the original contract expectations for him there is a perception that the Chargers slightly did overpay, and I still believe that to be true. But the Chargers needed as much immediate help in the defensive tackle room as they could possibly get at the time.
I'd have to believe until proven otherwise that Johnson will ultimately be back with the Chargers in 2023, but technically speaking the team can save $3 million if they chose to cut him this offseason. Ultimately, there's enough stability and solid play to continue building the defensive line around Joseph-Day and Johnson on the interior next year.
Austin Johnson signing grade: B