As the season begins to wind down, some players are trying to make strong final impressions to the coaching staff and front office. There are players like Melvin Ingram and Jahleel Addae who are looking for new extensions, while free agents like Korey Toomer are trying to simply get a chance to stay on the roster for another year. Then there is a group of players that have been struggling of late and may be cut to save cap room.
No matter the situation, the San Diego Chargers have a roster full of guys that are playing for contracts this offseason. With four weeks left, they have plenty of time to prove themselves one way or another.
It is make-or-break time for the following players.
The obvious player on this list is Melvin Ingram. San Diego’s best pass rusher is due to make a ton of money this offseason. So far this season Ingram has looked pretty good. He has six sacks as well as 2 forced fumbles on the season. The only question is, do the Chargers want to pay him elite pass rusher money?
The Chargers fanbase knows how this team operates with money so who really knows what they decide to do. If Ingram does end the final quarter of the season strong, he could force the Chargers to re-sign him.
It also helps that the combination of him and Joey Bosa has been very successful. Add the disappointing season of Jerry Attaochu, there is plenty of evidence that the Chargers could use him for the next couple of years.
The Chargers are going to need to do a lot of work in the offseason if they want to improve the safety position. Heading into next season, the two safeties that are probably going to be on the team are Dwight Lowery and Darrell Stuckey, neither of which are starting caliber.
That leaves Jahleel Addae in a unique situation. Addae may be the team’s best safety (which isn’t all that impressive) but the only problem is that he has missed most of this season to injury. If he can show improvement in these final four games, he may earn himself another few years in a Chargers uniform.
Either way, the odds are that either Addae or Lowery, maybe even both, aren’t starting come 2017. The good news for Addae is that the Chargers really seem to like him and John Pagano’s defense played really well in his return today, so maybe he does have an impact.
Korey Toomer was signed off the Oakland Raiders practice squad back in late September. Since then, he has been amazing. Toomer has led the team in tackles for three consecutive weeks and has been a saving grace for a decimated inside linebacker unit.
After Manti Te’o went down with injury, Jatavis Brown and Denzel Perryman looked like a solid pair, then both of them got hurt and Toomer was alone with Nick Dzubnar. Toomer stood out and held down the fort for a few weeks and hasn’t been slowed down since.
The Chargers could save a lot of money and decide to go with Brown, Perryman, and Toomer up the middle. With another few solid performances, Toomer could be in a Chargers uniform for a while.
This has to be one of San Diego’s worst free-agent signings in recent memory. Back in 2015, the Chargers signed Orlando Franklin to a 5-year $36.5 million contract. Franklin has not once proven he is worth that kind of money.
Time and time again Franklin has been beaten by his man and allowed Rivers to get sacked or Melvin Gordon to get popped behind the line of scrimmage. The Chargers could already be looking at other options.
If this is the case, the Chargers could cut Franklin and save a couple million in the process.
The San Diego Chargers are going to have three solid receiving options come next season. Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin and Tyrell “Moss” Williams. This will only leave a few receiving spots open come week one.
At the moment, the Chargers don’t have many options other than Dontrelle Inman. There is Stevie Johnson, but coming off of a major Achilles injury, his status as a Chargers is up in the air. The other options include Isaiah Burse and Jeremy Butler. None of which are too exciting.
This gives Inman a good chance of being the team’s fourth or fifth receiver. That shouldn’t upset anyone. Inman isn’t anything special, but he has been reliable and most importantly healthy while the rest of the receivers have been the opposite.
Inman’s numbers on the season are fairly good too. He has 32 catches for 408 yards and a touchdown. If another injury happens to those top three guys next year, Inman is a solid option. Think about it, it could be Griff Whalen.