Chargers' uniform number choices keep door open for this free agent to return

Perhaps the Chargers are planning to bring this free agent back after all.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Chargers put together a solid offseason that has fans excited for the 2023 season. While it did not have as many headline-grabbing moves like the year prior, the Bolts were able to bring back key members of last year's team for a chance to run it back.

Not every impactful player ended up returning, though. Drue Tranquill joined the rivaled Kansas City Chiefs while players like DeAndre Carter, Breiden Fehoko and Nasir Adderley all found new homes (with Adderley specifically retiring).

There are still some Chargers free agents that are without a team and with the roster currently at 90 players, it looks like the Bolts are done making any kind of moves. However, the team still has the ability to add someone for training camp as the team could easily waive an undrafted free agent.

And while it seems like that ship has sailed, the door might at least be open for veteran cornerback Bryce Callahan to return to the team. Callahan played such an important role for the Chargers last season and the team oddly hasn't given his uniform number away just yet.

Chargers keeping No. 23 available could be keeping door open for Bryce Callahan to return

Of course, this is all just speculation as nothing has been confirmed but it is interesting to see what the Chargers have done with different uniform numbers and with Callahan's specifically. With 90 players on the roster, the Bolts have wasted no time giving other numbers away.

Drue Tranquill's No. 49 went to Mikel Jones, Nasir Adderley's No. 24 went to A.J. Finley, heck, even Kyle Van Noy's No. 8 has been given to Max Duggan. Van Noy himself confirmed earlier this offseason that his time with the Chargers was done, so it makes sense.

Callahan's No. 23 from last season remains unoccupied. Granted, the team could always move numbers around if he did return, but the fact that it has been left vacated might be bigger than just a coincidence.

Heck, it makes sense to potentially bring Callahan back and to play the long game with this. The Chargers may want to get into camp and see first off how J.C. Jackson looks health-wise while also seeing how Ja'Sir Taylor is progressing.

If either of those things are behind schedule then bringing in Callahan for more depth is a no-brainer. It makes even more sense with the team not addressing the safety position at all in the offseason as him returning could open the door for others to log safety snaps.

Plus, Callahan had such a good season last year. Sure, he is 31, but after such a great year you would think that a team would have signed him to a cheap deal by now. C.J. Goodwin, Justin Bethel and Patrick Peterson have all signed deals and they are older than Callahan. Him still being on the market is odd.

Maybe he is still on the market because of a handshake agreement with the Chargers (a veteran like Callahan doesn't need all of training camp and if he waits to sign he doesn't have to go through the grueling process). Perhaps an offer is on the table from the Bolts to play a lesser role and he is holding out in hopes that someone gets hurt throughout the league and he can be a starter.

Regardless, there are too many odd specifics to completely rule out a Callahan return next season.