The initial rush of NFL free agency frenzy has ended, and it’s clear that the Los Angeles Chargers have a vision for the 2019 season. The Chargers focused on adding veteran leaders to a young, talented roster while rewarding their very own young stars.
The Los Angeles Chargers have made several key additions and brought back important pieces through free agency. There is also a potential move for the remainder of the offseason that can change things. The Chargers are a team on the rise and will continue to make a Super Bowl push. But the team also has an eye toward the future.
Veteran pro bowl linebacker added to this talented squad
The most significant free agent addition to the Chargers comes in long-time, former Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis. Davis is a natural-born leader and head hunter who was the face of the Carolina defense for 14 years. Davis is a three-time Pro Bowler and has amassed over 1,000 tackles and 28 sacks in his career. He also won the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year. This speaks to the type of leader and man the Chargers will be getting.
One player who seems elated by the Davis signing is fellow Chargers linebacker, Denzel Perryman. Perryman, who recently signed his own 2-year extension with the team, had this to say about his new teammate:
“Thomas Davis, he’s an OG in this league.”
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) March 14, 2019
Young players rewarded and brought back to continue their ascension
Perryman is a young leader himself that will have to prove healthy this year after being hindered by knee and hamstring injuries during his young career. He has been a standout when on the field, but has never played more than 14 games in his four-year career. His new deal is for two years and $12 million, which shows that the Chargers are taking a risk on the talent Perryman possess moving forward.
The Chargers also re-signed safety Adrian Phillips. Phillips, just 27 and coming off Pro Bowl and first team-All Pro honors, is a special teams star. He also adds nice depth to the secondary. In addition, defensive lineman Brandon Mebane was re-signed. Mebane is a 13-year pro and remains a big part of the defensive line rotation in his fourth season as a Charger.
Former Buffalo starter added as a backup in 2019
Another player added by the Los Angeles Chargers in free agency is former Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Taylor, most recently with the Cleveland Browns, spent the majority of last season backing up rookie phenom Baker Mayfield. Taylor was replaced in a Week 3 Thursday night game where Mayfield came in and led the Browns to a 21-17 win over the Jets. The game was Mayfield’s first win as the starter. That win relegated Taylor to back-up duties for the rest of the 2018 season.
While Taylor may no longer be fit as a starter in the league, there are no questions about his leadership and experience. As recently as 2017, Taylor led his Buffalo Bills team to second place in the AFC East and a trip to the Wild Card round. The team would eventually lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The playoff berth was Buffalo’s first in 17 years. Taylor played a big part in Buffalo’s success on the ground that season, and will be a great veteran backup presence behind Philip Rivers in 2019.
Could a Rosen trade be in the works prior to the draft?
Maybe the biggest move that hasn’t been made yet by the Chargers, is a trade for quarterback Josh Rosen. According to Joel Klatt of Fox Sports, the Chargers, as well as two other teams could be interested in the former first rounder of the Arizona Cardinals:
“There are 3 teams that I have heard and I know are very interested in Josh Rosen: New England, the New York Giants, and the LA Chargers. One of those have already offered a 2nd-round pick. … Arizona is waiting for a 1st — I don’t think they’ll get it.” — @joelklatt pic.twitter.com/nVC17lGsyJ
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) March 27, 2019
Klatt mentions that at least one of the teams mentioned have offered a 2nd-round pick in exchange for Rosen. A year removed from being a top 10 NFL Draft pick, Rosen would present tremendous value and upside for the Chargers as Philip Rivers enters the twilight of his career. Arizona is said to be eyeing Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in April’s draft. A second-round price tag seems very reasonable for the Chargers and Josh Rosen.
While Rosen may not have shown much during his rookie season, the Chargers present a much more favorable position for Rosen to succeed in the National Football League. That being said, the team is loaded at the wide receiver and running back spots and could give Rosen the opportunity to start as early as 2020. Some added intrigue here is the move to the LA Stadium Premiere Center, which is scheduled to happen in 2020. If the team competes for a Super Bowl as expected in 2019, Rivers could hang it up afterward. This would open the door for Rosen to begin his Los Angeles career in the new stadium. It would also return Rosen to the Los Angeles area, where he played his college ball at UCLA.
To see how the Chargers could successfully complement the free agency haul, check out PFN’s Chargers mock draft here.