The LA Chargers roster is down to 53 players and the team has named its first wave of practice squad signings, signing 12 players. The team has four more practice squad spots that it can fill and then the roster is essentially official for the 2021 season.
The Chargers made some surprising waives and some surprising additions in Trey Marshall and Eric Banks. Perhaps over every other move, though, the most surprising was the team's decision to waive Tyron Johnson.
The Bolts went with the interesting strategy of only deploying five wide receivers. Head coach Brandon Staley put to bed the speculation of there being any sort of character issues with Johnson, instead saying that it was a numbers game and they wanted backend receivers with special teams value.
I get that statement in a vacuum. The factors that still make it tough to accept is the fact that Johnson is talented and has big-play potential and that five wide receivers is an alarmingly thin number when the second-best receiver (Mike Williams) is injury prone, the third-best receiver (Josh Palmer) is a rookie and the fourth-best receiver (Jalen Guyton) had a case of the drops last season.
Johnson was quickly picked up by the top team on the waiver wire, the Jacksonville Jaguars, ending his tenure in LA. While we get it is a numbers issue, there are other areas of the roster the team could have picked from.
There are two players on the LA Chargers in particular who the team should have waived over Tyron Johnson.
Spoiler alert: one of the players is not Trey Pipkins. I know, he was terrible in the preseason and almost every Charger fan wanted to see him gone but it is hard for the team to waive a tackle when there are only four on the roster.
And yes, they could have waived Pipkins and brought in another tackle but that does not add a roster spot for Johnson.
Let's get into the two players who could have been waived before Johnson, in order.