The two biggest impending free agents for the LA Chargers entering the offseason were Drue Tranquill and Trey Pipkins. In two short days, the Chargers answered the questions around both of those players, signing Eric Kendricks to presumably replace Tranquill and now, bringing Trey Pipkins back.
News broke on Tuesday that the Chargers agreed to a three-year contract with the former third-round pick. Pipkins got his first real chance to start last season and thrived after years of not putting it together as a developmental prospect. He was an imperative member of the 2022 offensive line.
The best part is that the Chargers got the deal done for a great price. After seeing Andrew Wiley sign for $24 million, there were concerns that Pipkins' price could be even higher. While Pipkins' price is close to Wiley, it is not quite at that $24 million mark.
Chargers re-sign Trey Pipkins at a steal of a price.
Based on similarly-priced contracts, Pipkins will likely have a cap hit of around $4 million in 2023. This gives the Chargers the ability to bring in 2-3 more cheap players in free agency, especially if the team now goes ahead and cuts Matt Feiler.
While offensive line depth is always a good thing to have, it would be bad asset management to pay Feiler a starter's salary when he might be on the bench behind Jamaree Salyer. It would be better for all parties for the Chargers to get that salary-cap space to use and get a younger player to develop in that rotser spot.
Regardless, the Bolts re-signing Pipkins is great not just for the 2023 season but in future years as well. Assuming Salyer is the starting left guard, the entire starting offensive line is locked down for at least three seasons.
Rashawn Slater, Zion Johnson and Salyer are all on rookie deals. Corey Linsley's five-year contract expires after the 2025 season, as does Pipkins' new three-year deal.
It has been a long time since the Chargers had that kind of stability on the offensive line. Having the same group of guys (four of which still being young) start next to each other for an extended period of time is only going to increase the cohesion of the group. Pipkins re-signing locks that reality in for the Bolts.
There is still more work to do this offseason for the Chargers but this might end up being the best move the team makes all offseason.