Tom Telesco gained an early reputation as the “Coupon God” among Charger fans for his ability to sign discounted veterans in the second or third wave of free agency to fill meaningful roles on his rosters.
In 2022, he continued this trend with an impressive flurry of signings. Bryce Callahan, Kyle Van Noy, and Morgan Fox all signed with the Chargers post-draft to very affordable deals, with each player hoping to bounce back from a down year and regain market value in the following offseason.
As covered in a previous BFTB article covering how Kyle Van Noy and Bryce Callahan were perfect candidates for the UFA Tender, Telesco actually had a chance to secure both Van Noy and Callahan’s 2023 rights for a very affordable price. As the UFA Tender tags a player for 110% of their previous year’s salary, Van Noy could have been retained for $2,475,000, and Callahan for $1,232,000. Tom let this deadline come and go, and it was assumed both players were likely to sign elsewhere if Tom wasn’t willing to lock them up at these low figures.
Kyle Van Noy took to Twitter this week to all but confirm any suspicions on the topic.
I’m actually a free agent and they don’t want me back so we going to 31 other teams! Let’s gooo— Kyle Van Noy (@KVN_03) May 23, 2023
Kyle Van Noy brought solid veteran presence to the defense, and his versatility was extremely valuable in an injury-plagued season. He started the season as an inside linebacker, but quickly became a starting EDGE when Bosa went down to injury in Week 3. He ended the season with five sacks, five QB hits, 22 hurries, and 32 tackles.
Van Noy wouldn’t have filled a starting role for the 2023 Chargers, but it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t have been an upgrade over the depth pieces at either EDGE or linebacker.
Whether Bryce Callahan is retained remains to be seen, but it’s hard to imagine Tom signing Callahan after already opting to not tag him at $1,232,000. These were two missed opportunities for the “Coupon God” to keep clippin’.