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Chargers should hit bargain bin for veteran free agent linebacker

Cunningham started six games in his lone year with the Titans.

Tennessee Titans v Buffalo Bills Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Chargers are strapped for cash it stands when it comes to the cap and they’ll have to pull out some savvy moves to make everything fit by the time free agency arrives later this month.

In a new article by’s Nick Shook where he pairs every AFC team with a good fit in this year’s free agency class, he believes the Chargers could find a bargain in veteran linebacker Zach Cunningham who was recently released after just one season with the Titans.

Here’s what Shook had to say about the pairing:

A year ago, Los Angeles spent plenty of money and wasn’t afraid to flex its transactional muscles, but this time around, the Chargers will have to operate with a tighter fiscal belt. They’re currently $20.3 million over the cap and will need to find a veteran replacement for Drue Tranquill at inside linebacker. A flier on Cunningham won’t make headlines but could be a nice under-the-radar addition to a defense that already features playmakers at every level. At 28 years old, Cunningham seems as if he’s closer to retirement than the start of his career, but the Chargers could be a perfect fit for a veteran looking to play for a contender. After landing on the Titans via waivers near the end of 2021, he shouldn’t cost much, either.

Cunningham unfortunately missed 10 games in 2022 due to injury and but managed to start all six that he was healthy for. He posted 24 total tackles and a pass deflection in the only season where he recorded single-digit starts.

He’ll be 28 for the majority of the 2023 season so the Chargers took take advantage of of a one or two-year contract that could potentially give them a budget starter/depth piece for a pair of seasons before allowing him to hit free agency at 30.

It’s an absolute shame if the Chargers aren’t able to retain another young linebacker coming off a breakout season, but that seems to be where things are headed as we get closer to the start of the new league year.