Good afternoon Bolts From the Blue!
We have another round of poll results prepared for you!
This week, our staple question had the same results as last week. 4% of the fanbase polled is confident the Chargers are headed in the right direction. Some BFTB members joked that the Spanos family must have found our site and is contributed to the voting... thanks for that much needed chuckle!
The second question we asked was whether or not we should hit Austin Ekeler with the franchise tag, if we were able to clear enough cap to do so.
I intentionally didn’t dive into the weeds with the salary cap here, because I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to answer this question under the assumption the cap was able to be reworked, and gauge the general feelings behind in bringing Austin back without worrying about who we’d have to cut or restructure to do so.
Over $13 million is a lot to dedicate to a player that is coming off a rough season, and Ekeler does provide that pass-catching upside teams typically shell out a couple extra bucks for. He and Gerald Everett might be the only two UFA’s that could net the Bolts a compensatory pick, which should also be considered when evaluating whether or not to bring him back.
With only 25% of the fanbase expressing interest in retaining Ekeler on the tag, it’s probably best to let him walk... unless his market has fallen our and they are able to get him on a cheap prove-it deal (or even a 3-4 year deal with a much lower APY).
Speaking of upcoming free agents, the next question we asked was which UFA is the most important for the future plans of this team.
Alohi Gilman seemed like an easy answer to me. It seems his skill set would transfer over to multiple defensive schemes, and his development curve is still trending up. These last few weeks, he has been a disruptive game changer, laying some big time (and clean!) hits against receivers and backs alike. He also doesn’t have that top-flight athleticism that gets safeties paid, so I’d assume he could be had on a reasonable contract should they decide to retain him.
Last up, we have another head coach question.
I’m all-in on Jim Harbaugh, personally. It’s probably gotten to the point where it’s annoying some of you, and I apologize for that. However, building around the team’s biggest investment makes the most sense to be, and I trust Jim to make the absolute most out of Justin Herbert’s career, and turn the team’s fortune around fast like he did with the 49ers.
However, after asking Kyle Barber from Baltimore Beatdown what it was like having a former special teams coordinator as a head coach, there are certainly upsides to that as well. He specifically mentioned that it was great having a coach that never neglected the third phase of the game, and also delegated the play calling responsibilities to both the offensive and defensive coordinators.
Thank you again to everyone who participated! Keep your eyes out for another poll coming out soon!