NFL Rumors: Chargers pursuing former standout defender with Brandon Staley ties
The LA Chargers made one addition on the first day of the legal tampering window, signing former All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks to a two-year contract. Kendricks arrival in LA all but signals the end of Drue Tranquill's tenure with the team.
While the Bolts did not make any other reported moves on day one, there are other players that the team is connected to in the market. Most notably, Brandon Staley is potentially gearing up to do one of his favorite things this time of year: bring back a player he previously coached.
There is a long list of players that Staley previously coached that the Chargers could pursue this offseason. We know that the team at least has an interest in one.
NFL Rumors: Chargers expected to pursue John Johnson III.
This is a potential free-agent signing that makes a lot of sense for both sides. Los Angeles could benefit from buying low on someone with big upside in John Johnson while Johnson's career is best off if reunites with Brandon Staley.
Johnson was one of the most promising young safeties in the league during his tenure with the LA Rams and really stepped his game up in the one season he had in Staley's defense. That season got him paid by the Cleveland Browns, where he never quite lived up to expectations.
His last two seasons may seem like a warning sign but this is not a player in his 30s that is regressing. Situation alone can make a player regress and that seems to be the case with Johnson. Johnson is still only 27 years old so there are plenty of miles on the gas tank.
Because of his play over the last two years Johnson should be available for an affordable price. This would give someone to replace Nasir Adderley, who is a free agent as well this offseason. Johnson likely wouldn't just replace Adderley, he should be better than he was last season.
This really strengthens the secondary and allows the Bolts to get creative. Johnson has shown the ability to move around the defense but this could also allow second-year safety JT Woods to play some corner. There was speculation that the Chargers viewed Woods as a corner and this would make it easier to give him more slot corner reps in his second season.
Add another mid-round cornerback prospect with athleticism and a potentially returning J.C. Jackson at some point and the Chargers secondary would look incredibly deep with the addition of Johnson.