One of the biggest reasons for excitement heading into this offseason was the massive amount of cap space the Chargers will possess. It couldn’t be coming at a better time as the team has plenty of talent at several key positions, but there’s still room for major improvements in other pivotal areas that drastically held the team back from reaching their potential in 2021.
The question is, where will the Chargers ultimately spend that money?
In a recent article by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Matt Bowen where the analysts matched the top-50 free agents with their best team fits, they highlighted one reunion for the Chargers with an in-house free agent while also pairing them with one of the top tight ends expected to be on the market.
Firstly, Fowler and Bowen believe in it’s in the team’s best interest to re-sign Uchenna Nwosu to keep their starting edge rushing group intact. Per Fowler, Nwosu “wasn’t the problem” when it came to the unit’s inability to stop the run and keeping one of their best playmakers down the final stretch of the season should be high on their priority list.
In his fourth year for the Chargers (his first as a starter), Nwosu set career highs across the board with 40 total tackles, five sacks, eight tackles for loss, four pass deflections, and his first professional interception. While he started slow through the team’s first eight games, he finished strong, posting four sacks and seven tackles for loss in the team’s final nine contests.
When it comes to players from other teams matched to the Chargers, only one free agent was given L.A. as their best fit. That player was Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki.
At 26 years old, Gesicki is coming off a season where he set career highs in receptions (73) and receiving yards (780). He scored just two touchdowns this year, but the prior 2020 season saw him collect a career high seven scores. Through his first four seasons in the NFL, he’s totaled 199 receptions for 2,255 yards and 13 touchdowns.
With Jared Cook turning 35 in April, Fowler believes the Chargers may not bring back the veteran for another go-round. Gesicki could go a long way in solidifying the tight end position for the long-term as Bowen can foresee the 6’6 pass-catcher being a versatile “seam stretcher” who could line up in a number of spots across formations. Should Donald Parham return to the field for next season, the Chargers would have the tallest duo of pass-catchers in the NFL that they could utilize in the red zone.
As for the Chargers’ biggest free agent, wide receiver Mike Williams, Fowler and Bowen have him tabbed as a perfect fit for the Browns who need a solidified presence outside the numbers. I don’t think Williams would enjoy catching passes from Baker Mayfield as much as he would Justin Herbert, but money truly does talk.
Let me know in the comments below what you all think of Fowler and Bowen’s thoughts regarding these free agent fits and also throw out some of your favorite free agent targets, as well.