“Chargers-On Track–Off Course”
As good a team on paper as they have had since the (14-2) Marty Schottenheimer teams of over a decade ago.
On track for what could be a very good football season possibly.
On paper-that’s the way it looked as the team went to training camp.
Now two weeks before the NFL season is about to begin, the team has been knocked off course.
On the field injuries. Off the field contract issues. And the Bolts have not even played a game this season.
MELVIN GORDON…The holdout is now entering its 5th week. He has forfeited two game checks (660,000) and has rung up (69,000) in fines for missed workouts and practices. He’s facing a tough decision shortly. Come in and play out the final year of the contract and not miss any more paydays, or sit till week 10-forefeit all those game checks, come in to finish the year, get credit for the final year of the deal, and see what free agency brings. But he’d forefeit close to 4M of his salary by doing that, and he could still be franchise tagged for the 2020 season on another one year contract..
PHILIP RIVERS….He’s ended negotiations on a contract extension now, and will play this season and could become a free agent at the end of the season. He could be franchise tagged by the Bolts, but that would cost them some 25M next year on a 1-year deal. He likely wants a 3-year extension and retires. But he takes a risk playing this season without guarantees going forward. He could get hurt this year and have no job security. Or he could play this year, and retire, which seems to be an undercurrent of conversation now in his mindset at age (36).
DERWIN JAMES….This is a big setback in the secondary…the fractured foot and the surgery that will sideline him for at least 4-months. He was a table setter at safety, played 99% of the defensive snaps, had 105-tackles, 3-interceptions and was everywhere. Coach Anthony Lynn has echoed the sentiment ‘Next Man Up” but that rings empty, no body in that secondary was the playmaker James was. Luckily, Desmond King and Adrian Phillips have experience and will play, but neither is equal to #33.
RUSSELL OKUNG…Blood clots are not something to be taken lightly. Taking blood thinners is an issue too. He might be facing the end of his career, and that’s a blow because he has been rugged and more reliable a left tackle than the team has had in years, and he’s played much better than he ever played in Seattle before they let him go. This is not just a football issue, but a lifetime health issue.
KEENAN ALLEN…Will sit out rest of preseason camp and games with swelling on knee and an ankle injury. He is such a gamer, but this may be a wear-and-tear factor over his many years running routes, catching balls, taking hits. Hopefully this is not a season long-nagging injury issue.
JERRY TILLERY….The 1st round pick has been held out all spring into early camp as the rehab from shoulder surgery at Notre Dame continues. He can play. The question, will he hold up.
NASSIR ADDERLY…The 2nd round pick has not been in full practice mode since going out with a hamstring injury in the OTA’s, and that was 14-weeks ago. He is way behind now in playing time and game knowledge. He might not contribute for half the season.
The Bolts will not be the same team if they have to go extended time without Gordon, James, Okung. And you know there will be other injuries that will happen when they start playing for real.
On track for a really good season. Knocked off the course right now by these player issues.