The Los Angeles Chargers went 10-7 and made the playoffs in 2022, but it’s clear that the team failed to live up to expectations. Couple that with being way over the 0223 cap number, and it’s easy to see why the Chargers may be in a bit of a pickle this offseason.
Last year, they loaded up their defense and were largely seen as the winners of the offseason. Some in the media even went as far to say that the team would make the Super Bowl in 2022. Safe to say that LA did not live up to the offseason hype. They did go 10-7 and make the playoffs, but they also did blow a massive lead in the Wild Card round against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The team has a list of things they should try to fix or do this offseason, but this also creates some massive chances to make big mistakes.
Offseason mistakes the Chargers should avoid in 2023
Failing to give Justin Herbert more weapons
The team is about $20 million over the salary cap for 2023, so they’ll need to make some moves to get under. One move that has been floated around is cutting ties with longtime receiver Keenen Allen.
They may have to make this move to get under the salary cap, but even if Allen is still in the mix, they need to add more weapons for Justin Herbert. Both Allen and Williams do come with a bit of injury concerns, and I wouldn’t say that either is a true WR1 at this point in their careers.
Even the best quarterbacks in the NFL need legitimate weapons, and the Chargers should add more for Herbert.
Getting cute with Justin Herbert’s contract extension
Justin Herbert is a top five talent at this position, and it’s clear that he is the long-term answer for LA. According to spotrac.com, Herbert’s market value is $42.4 million per season. I do think he’ll get a bit more per year from LA, but it’s imperative that the team does not get cute with this.
He is still in his early 20s and is perhaps one of the best overall talents at the position the league has seen in this generation. Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed contract does complicate things a bit, but that’s no excuse for not getting a significant contract extension done with your best player.
Not making moves to improve the offensive line
Justin Herbert took 38 sacks this season, which is the highest total of his three year career. The team has made strides in adding to and trying to improve their OL this season, but more needs done.
They need a long-term solution at right tackle and perhaps another starting caliber body on the inside. Herbert has taken 101 sacks in three seasons, and obviously the more he gets hit, the more likely it is he suffers a major injury.
Tom Telesco, the GM, should again look to wherever he can to try and solidify this unit. We’ve seen that not having strong offensive lines can burn a team in the playoffs (Bengals, Bills) and I believe that good teams are built from the inside, out.