NFL free agency is underway and we’re tracking every major signing, trade and release of the 2022 offseason, with analysis from our NFL Nation reporters and ratings from our experts. The new league year begins on March 16 at 4 p.m. ET, which means free-agent signings can become official after that. The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft begins April 28 on ESPN.
The Chargers enter free agency with a star quarterback in Justin Herbert, who was named to the Pro Bowl in his second season after throwing for 5,014 yards and 38 touchdown passes in 2021. And they were able to take care of a big season priority. low on return – Signing receiver Mike Williams, who agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with $40 million guaranteed and $28 million in the first year of the deal after having a career year in 2021.
The Chargers are also making moves to beef up their defense, as they’re set to acquire pass-rusher Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears to provide pass-rushing help to Pro Bowl Joey Bosa to combat an AFC West made even tougher by the trade. of the Denver Broncos. for Russell Wilson.
Now they need a right tackle or guard and possibly a cornerback, along with some big guys on the defensive line to shore up a speedy defense that was among the worst in the NFL.
Here’s a breakdown of every 2022 NFL free agent signing by the Los Angeles Chargers, and how each will affect the upcoming season:
The Chargers are giving the former Patriots CB a Los Angeles Chargers are giving former New England Patriots cornerback JC Jackson a five-year, $82.5 million contract that includes $40 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.
Meaning: The Chargers just saw the team they share a stadium with (the Los Angeles Rams) win a Super Bowl and still have star quarterback Justin Herbert on his rookie deal. In other words, it’s time to put your chips in and go after a Super Bowl. That’s the only logical conclusion after striking a deal with the best cornerback on the market, trading for running back Khalil Mack and re-signing wide receiver Mike Williams to a $20 million-a-year deal. The Chargers missed the playoffs last year, but in the super-competitive AFC, they clearly recognized that big moves were needed.
What is the risk: Big money free agent signings always come with some level of risk. With Jackson, the risk comes from comparable players, like Malcolm Butler, who have gone from undrafted free agents to highly-paid No. 1 corners and haven’t panned out. Jackson also had some trouble against Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs, prompting some questions about how he’ll hold up on a weekly basis against other top receivers. But Jackson’s 25 interceptions are the most in the NFL over the past four seasons and he has allowed the lowest passer rating (42.0) as the closest defender in the league since 2018. It’s risky, but it’s worth seeking out. a defense now full of talent. —Nick Waggoner
The former Rams defensive tackle has agreed to move across town to play for the Chargers, as he will sign a three-year contract worth up to $24 million.
Meaning: Joseph-Day only has to change costumes at SoFi Stadium to join his new team as the Chargers continue to spend heavily to strengthen their defense. Joseph-Day reunites with coach Brandon Staley (former Rams defensive coordinator) and joins running back Khalil Mack, cornerback JC Jackson and defensive tackle Austin Johnson as important additions to the Los Angeles defense and, by Like Johnson, he will be tasked with improving a career. defense that produced the third-most yards in the league in 2021. He finished second in the NFL in career stops per game (2.75) last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
What is the risk: Joseph-Day was limited to just seven regular-season games in 2021 due to a pectoral injury. Though that was the only time he’s missed in the past three seasons, he brings a bit of a question mark when he joins the Chargers. To his credit, Joseph-Day returned to play in the Super Bowl. As with Johnson, this isn’t a bank-breaking deal, but Joseph-Day will need to avoid more injuries and increase production for this deal to be a win for the Chargers. — Forklift driver
Hopkins has signed a multiyear deal with the Chargers, according to the team.
Meaning: Bringing Hopkins back was a no-brainer for the Chargers, as he provided much-needed stability in the kicking game after being signed last October. Hopkins scored 18 of 20 field goals (90%) and 30 of 32 extra points (93.8%) after replacing Tristan Vizcaíno. Hopkins previously played for the Washington Commanders from 2015 through the first six games of 2021.
What is the risk: Hopkins performed above his career average last season, so he could be prone to regressing. But considering the issues the Chargers had with the kicker before his arrival with Vizcaino and Michael Badgley, it’s worth it for them to continue rolling with Hopkins.
Covington is re-signing with the Chargers, according to the team. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Meaning: The Chargers bring back a role player for the interior of their defense to join free-agent signings Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson. Covington played in 16 games last season with three starts and had 52 tackles along with a sack.
What is the risk: There appears to be very little risk in re-signing Covington. Coming off a career-high year for tackles and with the addition of Khalil Mack, Covington may end up with more opportunities to get to quarterback with so much attention given to Mack and Joey Bosa. He could also help bolster a run defense that was among the worst in the NFL. –Josh Weinfuss
Johnson will sign a two-year deal worth up to $14 million, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Meaning: The Chargers continue to make significant additions to a defense that needed them. While this won’t move the needle like the Khalil Mack trade or the JC Jackson deal, this is a quiet, solid move. Johnson has been a productive and durable player for the Giants and was one of the best run stoppers in the league in 2021 (he ranked sixth in ESPN’s run stopper win rate among nose tackles). That’s important for a Chargers defense that allowed the third-most rushing yards in the league last year. Los Angeles had now added an impact player at every level of its defense as it continues to build toward becoming a legitimate AFC contender in 2022.
What is the risk: Johnson hasn’t missed a game in five seasons, and while this deal isn’t a small deal, it’s also not a bank-breaking move. Which means there really isn’t much risk here. Although he’s probably more of a two-down player, Johnson is a logical fit and should be fine in the Chargers’ scheme. — Forklift driver
Daniel agreed to a 1-year, $2.25 million deal, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Meaning: With Justin Herbert locked in as the starter, Daniel will return as a backup for the Chargers. Which means that if he makes the list, Daniel will be entering his 14th NFL season, which he has spent as a backup. Daniel has only five career starts to his name. Not many players have carved out such a niche for themselves and continue to receive significant paychecks for so long without getting a real shot at starting.
What is the risk: There really isn’t much risk here given the price and what Daniel will be asked to do. The only real risk might come from some sort of opportunity cost. Which means it’s fair to wonder if the Chargers could have found a better backup option instead of re-signing Daniel. Still, this price tag wouldn’t stop the Chargers from pursuing that possibility if it came along. — Forklift driver
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Los Angeles Chargers 2022 NFL free agent signings: JC Jackson agrees to five-year deal