LA Chargers could have some fascinating 2022 free agency targets

Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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LA Chargers
Mike Williams #81 of the Los Angeles Chargers. Mandatory Credit – Chris Unger/Getty Images /

Before getting into players in the free-agent market from other teams, it’s important that the Chargers look at retaining internal talent first.

According to OverTheCap, the LA Chargers have 26 combined restricted and unrestricted free agents from the team to make decisions on this offseason.

Among that long list of free agents remains big-name starters that the Chargers will certainly have to consider bringing back if they can. However, also present are a group of players that the Chargers will likely deem not worth bringing back and who will test the waters of the free market.

Which LA Chargers will go or stay in 2022?

Offensive Players

Most likely the biggest question on LA Chargers fans’ minds is Mike Williams. The star receiver rekindled his career with the great connection Justin Herbert has built with him and has established himself as a reliable threat downfield.

The decision on Williams will likely come down to what the receiver’s asking point is. Assuming it is reasonable, the Chargers would be eager to keep Williams in powder blue moving into the future.

Oday Aboushi and Jalen Guyton have a great shot at being brought back to compete for roster spots and in Aboushi’s case, compete for a starting position on the offensive line. At the tight end position, Jared Cook will likely be passed on by the Chargers after some serious drop issues this year and I would expect only one of Donald Parham and Stephen Anderson to be brought back.

The only other offensive player among the mix of free agents that has a compelling argument to be re-signed is Justin Jackson. The running back made a case for himself in the latter half of the season with solid overall performances, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Chargers look for more depth at the position in the later rounds of the draft instead.

Defensive Players

On the defensive side of the ball, Kyzir White and Justin Jones were integral pieces this season who more than likely earned themselves new contracts this offseason. Brandon Staley needs to attempt to build around the foundational pieces already present on the defense, and bringing those two players back is a start.

White and Jones aside, Uchenna Nwosu has the best chance of the remaining defensive players being brought back. He began to show flashes of his potential and impact towards the end half of the Chargers’ season, and could potentially be given another chance as a result.

The Chargers defense needs a desperate overhaul, and many of the low-impact and underperforming defensive players remaining such as Chris Harris Jr. will likely not make the cut.

Special Teams

Expect the Chargers to make offers to all 4 of their free-agent special teamers. Last season, Dustin Hopkins provided consistency at a position that the Chargers have struggled with for a while now, so expect him to be brought back for the 2022 season. Ty Long also earned himself another contract with the Bolts after a consistent season of punting.

One of the biggest impacts a free agent had for the Chargers last season was Andre Roberts. Roberts turned a pitiful special teams unit around, so a new contract for him would not be surprising at all. And Matt Overton, the team’s long snapper, is a consistent player that does his job correctly. It just makes sense to bring him back, so seeing him re-signed would be no surprise.