The San Diego Chargers have numerous unanswered questions surrounding the 2016 season. For the sake of sanity we will focus on the issues on the field instead of stadium or relocation talk.
The team has many impending free agents, including Eric Weddle, Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green. There are plenty of needs for the Chargers all over the field. The team does have the third selection in the upcoming draft and the team will likely solve one issue with that pick. Still, there is much work to do if the Bolts plan on building a competitive team. One pick and one draft will not solve the team’s issues.
It seems as though Weddle is all but gone… so with his departure the Chargers have a huge void to fill. Luckily for the team, a safety can be had on the free agent market. Eric Berry, Tyvon Branch, William Moore, Tony Jefferson, Mark Barron, Reggie Nelson are all available and could be had at a decent price. With Weddle’s departure his $10.1 million dollar (2015 season) salary cap hit comes of the books. That’s a huge chunk of money and the Chargers can virtually go after any free agent on the open market if they choose to.
There is no bigger free agent name out there that reigning Super Bowl MVP Von Miller from the rival Denver Broncos. It could not have worked out better for Miller as he will cash in big this winter. He had a $9.754 million dollar cap hit for the 2015 season, so money is not an issue, but fitting in the Chargers defensive scheme could be.
Miller is an outside linebacker and his main job is getting to the quarterback and creating havoc. In fact Miller has 17 forced fumbles in his five-year career and had two in the playoffs for the Broncos this season including the famous strip sack of Cam Newton in the Super Bowl. He was a menace to the Panthers offensive line and was an easy choice for the MVP of the game.
He has recorded double-digit sacks in every season that he has played the whole year. In 2013 Miller had an MCL knee injury that limited him to nine games. He has amassed 60 sacks in his five NFL seasons and 267 tackles. He is not a tackling machine, but he does pursue the ball carrier well on running plays and can make a play on coverage every now and then. His forte however is getting in the QB’s face.
The Chargers really do not have a glaring need for a rushing end in particular right now. Melvin Ingram, Jeremiah Attaochu and Kyle Emanuel provide a decent rotation at the position. Still adding Von Miller would instantly catapult the outside linebacker rotation into one of the best in the leagues.
Having Von Miller in a Chargers uniform would be fantastic. Teaming him with Ingram in particular could be very special, but the Chargers just have too many issues to put all their eggs in one basket. It is painfully obvious the team has many needs. The offensive and defensive line need work. Injuries ravished the offensive unit while the defensive unit just struggled to assert itself consistently. The defensive line was pushed around way too much for most Chargers fans liking as well.
Von Miller brings a great dimension to the game, but in reality he is only one man and the Chargers are hardly one player away from a Championship. At 26, Miller still has a ton of football left in his tank. The Broncos will likely break the bank to re-sign him as he is the face of their great defense. They cannot afford to let him go, and definitely not to a division rival. That would be dumb.
He could provide a boost on the field and also help develop a defensive attitude to the Chargers, but a match seems unlikely at this point. You never know though. Dean Spanos and the Chargers front office are looking to make a splash this season. Bringing in Miller would surely get a lot of interest in the team. However when it is all said and done it goes back to the fact the Chargers really shouldn’t put too much money into one single player. Re-signing Antonio Gates should be priority number one and after that fill the holes with draft picks and lesser tiered free agents. That sounds like a far better plan for the future of this franchise. Miller would be nice, but it’s not gonna happen. Let’s dream elsewhere.