It took allowing 63 points to the Las Vegas Raiders with a backup quarterback for the Chargers to make the move that the fanbase has been waiting months for; Los Angeles officially fired Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco to enter a new era as a franchise.
The next two months or so are going to all be about the potential candidates that the Chargers have to replace Staley as well as the smart football minds that the team is going to look to bring in at GM. Of the two, fans have definitely been more invested in the head coach search.
There are big-name candidates with a lot of coaching experience in the NFL, there are coordinators who seem like offensive geniuses, and there are even scary options that fans want to avoid. With how the team historically has operated, fans have already given up on the big-name options (Bill Belichick and Jim Harbaugh) because of how much they would cost to hire.
However, this truly is a new era of Chargers football and the organization might be changing how it approaches this hire. When speaking to the media on Monday, Chargers president John Spanos said that money would not be a factor in the hire.
""Going into this search, everything is a possibility. There have been no discussions internally about there being a max [dollar amount]," Spanos said. "We're always going to do what's in the best interest of the team.""
Chargers leave door open to hire an expensive head coach
Does this mean that the Chargers are absolutely going to hire an expensive head coach? Not at all. Spanos could just be saying all the right things knowing that fans want to hear that there will be no limit to how much the team spends.
That being said, while the Chargers have historically been cheap in the past, things have been different the last few years. The Chargers have not been afraid to hand out big contracts in free agency, were not afraid to restructure deals (something they didn't do in the past much), and are even opening a brand new practice facility in El Segundo that will cost the team $270 million.
Since moving to LA, the Chargers have not been cheap at all. Sure, the team was cheap in hiring Staley, but it isn't like money was an obstacle that led them to hire him over someone else. The team just made a bad decision in hiring him over Brian Daboll.
Some fans would point to Sean Payton but that might not have even been a money thing. The Chargers would have had to trade assets to get Payton and after two winning seasons with Staley, they were not as desperate as the Denver Broncos were.
Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding. If the Chargers have a chance to hire Harbaugh but pass on him for someone like Frank Smith (with no disrespect to Smith) then we know that Spanos is just lying through his teeth. However, based on recent history, he might be telling the truth.