Free agency is classically something the Chargers are piss-fucking-poor at. Especially when it comes to big money signings. Even going back just the last 10 years, it's been almost nothing but pain. If you, like most rational football fans, aren't an avid follower of my Chargers, here is a few of their huge misses.
1. OL Jared Gaither - In 2012, the team signed him to a 4-year, $24 million deal to protect Rivers. He barely lasted 9 total games.
2. WR Robert Meachum - Also in 2012, they signed Brees sloppy seconds to a 4-year $26 million deal to be a serious weapon on offense. He ended his Chargers tenure with 207 TOTAL yards.
3. OL Orlando Franklin - in 2015, they signed Franklin to be a rock on the OL. For $36.5 million with $20 guaranteed, he lasted 26 of the 80 games he was signed to play before being cut.
4. OL King Dunlap - Also in 2015, they signed him for $28 million with $13 guaranteed. He made it 21 games into his 4-year contract before getting cut.
5. WR Eddie Royal - A 3-year, $13 million dollar deal translated to 234 total yards and a single TD.
6. WR David Boston - I know this is before that 10-year gap, but it is still hysterical how bad of a signing he was. 7-years and $47 million in 2003 money translated into 1-year of play before that roidhead got shipped away.
Anyway, if you're sensing a trend, you're correct. This team has been hilariously bad dealing with WRs in free agency, and even worse with Offensive Lineman. Lets take a look at their signings so far:
1. C Corey Linsley - The Chargers made him the highest paid center in the NFL with a $62.5 million dollar 5-year deal ($26 guaranteed). Let's be clear, Linsley was a fucking man-beast last year. He was arguably the best center in the NFL and had the highest PFF grade at the position. In the 7 year span since he has been drafted, he ranks 5th in total PFF grade. He's a monster blocker and, on paper, is the anchor the Chargers OL (Worst-ranked in the NFL) needs.
Now it's time for the "but".
At this point, the Chargers have me battered with horrible offensive line signings that seemed good at the time. Linsley is 29, and ended the season on a sprained MCL. As a fan of this team, my pessimistic brain is already running through 500 different scenarios of how this doesn't work like I'm Dr. Strange.
I want him to be great and to be the protection my beautiful baby boy Justin Herbert needs, but I can't check my pessemism at the door.
2. G Matt Feiler - He was a utility lineman for the Steelers that got a 3-year, $23 million deal from the Chargers. His signing bonus alone is more than he has earned in his entire 7-year career combined. The Chargers will always need a guy that can play multiple positions on the line since their line is always in fucking shambles. For them, this role is traditionally played by low-level deal guys, low draft picks and UDFAs. Feiler is getting paid a significant amount more than those players, and I don't know if the 28 year-old will be more than an average starter. To me, that's ok. Especially after seeing the Chiefs signing a guy like Joe Thuney for $80 mil.
3. CB Michael Davis (re-signed) - Davis has been a total fucking boss. He's a UDFA DB that is tall and fucking FAST. $25 million across 3 years for the 26 year-old is a fucking steal and I'll tell you why.
He's gotten better every year, and this deal takes him to age 29 which will be a great evaluation spot for the team.
4. K Mike Badgley - 1-year deal (can't find the $ amount yet). BOOOOOO!!!! How the hell do you call yourself the MONEY BADGER if you can't hit a 40-yard field goal?
5. TE Jared Cook - He's a solid vet that can catch passes. $6 million is easy to part with knowing that he will create mismatches with LB's and be good for at least 500 yards and 5ish TDs. Losing Hunter Henry really sucked, but I think they will be able to find replacement value guys like Cook and some blockers in FA and during the late rounds of the draft/UDFA.