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Chargers rank 7th in way-too-early NFL power rankings

The Chargers are the fourth-highest ranked AFC team behind the Chiefs, Bengals, and Bills.

NFL: Pro Bowl Skills Competition Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Whenever a NFL season officially comes to a close, one of the first things anyone wants to do is look ahead to the next season, despite that one being over 200 days away.

That won’t, and will never, stop the masses from doing just that. This is especially so for the media.

Not too long after the final whistle blew on the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory over the Eagles, ESPN dropped their first edition of their 2023 power rankings. To no one’s surprise, the Chiefs and Eagles topped that list in that order.

But what about the Chargers? Where does the media believe they sit at this incredibly early point in the offseason?

As of Sunday night, the Chargers came in at No. 7 among all team’s and the fourth highest-ranked AFC team. Along with the rankings, each beat writer for their respective team also had to describe their offseason in three words. For the Bolts, Lindsey Thiry used “Pay Justin Herbert.”

Here’s what she had to say about her choice of words:

“The 2020 sixth overall pick is eligible for a contract extension, and it would be in the Chargers’ favor to get a deal done expeditiously, not only to beat the market and pending deals for Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Lamar Jackson, but to cut out any distraction that looming contract negotiations might cause for Herbert and the organization. That way, the Bolts can place all of their attention where it is badly needed in order to make the deep playoff run they’ve missed the past two seasons — by fixing the offense and building a scheme that allows Herbert and his arm to shine.”

I agree with Thiry in that the Chargers should attempt to beat out as many of the other expected quarterback deals to be made this offseason in order to save what they can, but I don’t necessarily agree that a lack of a quick deal would become a distraction. If there ever was a quarterback who likely couldn’t care less about the money, it’d be Herbert.

Nonetheless, he deserves his money. No matter what that amount ends up being.