Yes. Absolutely yes.
The Chargers need a viable option behind Melvin Gordon. Branden Oliver has only had one okay season, where he averaged 3.6 yards a carry. He’s definitely a solid role player kind of guy and is smaller but tough back who adds some value in the passing game, but he’s never played a full season and has missed 24 games in the last two seasons. You never know if a player will be the same after such an awful injury, and the Chargers need to do something about it. All the other guys are not viable. Farrow is incredibly meh, and the other guys didn’t stick with teams for reasons.
Ryan Mathews, on the other hand, would be a perfect fit to ride shotgun to Melvin Gordon. He knows the offense (he had his best year as a pro with Ken Whisenhunt), and has tremendous upside, but is pretty damn brittle. He has good hands, receiving for over 1300 yards in his career, and has rushed for over 5000 yards as well. He won’t come expensive due to his injury concerns but could be exactly what this team needs to push them over the hump. He’s an exciting player who is damn near unmatched when on the field (averaging well over 4 YPC in most of his seasons). He has a rare blend of power and quickness and would be the perfect compliment to Gordon.
Ryan Mathews being released will most likely be the by-product of a loaded backfield that the team fields. They just signed LeGarrette Blount (NFL leading 18 rushing TDs last season), and have swiss army knife Darren Sproles as their 3rd down back, followed by the exciting Donnel Pumphrey from SDSU. There is no room for Mathews anymore on that team, especially considering he is set to make $5 million this year, but would only cost $1 million to cut.
Coach Anthony Lynn has preached constantly that he believes in using a team of backs to get the job done. Melvin Gordon is great, but the rest of the guys do not inspire confidence. Ryan Mathews would be a great backup, probably wouldn’t steal too many touches, but would be a threat to score every time he touches the ball. With fewer touches, he generally stays healthier, having played in 13 games each season over the last 2 years.
Philip Rivers obviously needs more help than ever. With the best offensive line he’s had in years, and a new receiver, why not get him even more by bringing back a dangerous weapon in the backfield? If you don’t remember correctly, when Ryan Mathews played, the Chargers won.
So what do you say? Should the Chargers sign Ryan Mathews once he’s released to be a jolt of energy to the backfield? I say yes.