During his first season as a Charger, Hayward hauled in seven interceptions, giving him the most in the NFL. Now, Hayward is the unquestioned No. 1 cornerback in Los Angeles and is a lockdown defender in the NFL.
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In 2016, the Chargers luckily signed him to a cheap deal that would pay him just over $5 million per year for three seasons (2016-18). If he hit the open market, Hayward would easily get a contract worth over $10 million per year.
As such, Hayward is the perfect free agent signing with him still in his prime (27-years-old) and at a major discount. These types of moves, in today’s salary cap era, are crucial to building a perennial contender.
Thanks to Chargers general manager Tom Telesco, who has found bargains and drafted well, Los Angeles should be contending for a while with bargains like these.
Today is the third day of the Chargers Wire’s countdown to the Los Angeles Chargers’ training camp which begins on July 29. Until that day, we will count down the best Charger to wear each jersey number from No. 30 to No. 1 and will now look at No. 28.
Currently, No. 28 is worn by Chargers running back Melvin Gordon who had an impressive 2016 campaign before it was cut short due to injury.
Gordon ran for 997 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2016 after a disappointing rookie season where he ran for just 641 yards and zero touchdowns.
In all honesty, the former Badger has not done a lot yet with the Los Angeles organization, but if he continues to keep up his recent level of play, he will easily be the greatest No. 28 in Chargers’ history.
The only other competition would be Chargers defensive back Willie Buchanon, but he played the majority of his career for the Green Bay Packers. Therefore, Buchanon may be a few steps above Gordon at the moment, but it will not last for very long.
Gordon will surely take over as the best No. 28 in the franchise’s history.
Today is the second day of the Chargers Wire’s countdown to the Los Angeles Chargers’ training camp which begins on July 29. Until that day, we will count down the best Charger to wear each jersey number from No. 30 to No. 1 and will now look at No. 29.
Currently, the number is worn by Chargers cornerback Craig Mager, but he has only seen the field in 10 games and isn’t an actual candidate for the best Charger to wear his number.
Honestly, the No. 29 did not have a plethora of competition, but former Chargers cornerback Mike Williams had an impressive career en route to earning his spot as the best No. 29 in the franchise’s history.
The former LSU Tiger was also selected in the famous 1975 NFL draft with the No. 22 overall pick in the first round. During his eight seasons as a Bolt, he corralled 24 interceptions (fifth all-time in Chargers’ history) and six fumble recoveries.
Williams’ 24 interceptions and the lack of greats who wore the No. 29 earned him the top spot. It isn’t to say his career wasn’t impressive, but it would not garner legendary status.
The Los Angeles Chargers have had an impressive 2017 offseason in which they brought it in a lot of talent without losing much.
The Chargers had one of the best drafts in the entire NFL as they brought in Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams and guard Forrest Lamp. Both are expected to immediately make an impact, be the future of Los Angeles and fill a position of need within the team.
Sounds like the perfect draft selections.
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In addition, the Chargers’ did not lose any talent, except former Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers, from last season, per Pro Football Focus.
Los Angeles had arguably the best draft in the league and have some talented players returning to full health including Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, safety Jahleel Addae and cornerback Jason Verrett.
All in all, Los Angeles should be amongst one of the most improved teams in 2017 and it should not surprise anyone if Chargers general manager Tom Telesco wins executive of the year in 2018 after the NFL’s best offseason.
The Los Angeles Chargers have potential on defense as they ranked No. 16 in the NFL in yards against, but gave up the No. 29 most points in the NFL last season.
If the Chargers can improve defensively in the red zone and the offense turns the ball over less, then Los Angeles should have an impressive defense led by Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa.
Here are the 11 most important Chargers’ defensive players in 2017.
No. 11 – DT Brandon Mebane
The Chargers lack depth in the middle of the defense. Los Angeles was both average against the run and the pass last season and will need to improve on defense if they want a shot at the AFC West crown.
Chargers defensive tackle Brandon Mebane has been a very productive player his entire career but is now 32-years-old. Therefore, he is going to have to work tirelessly during the summer to stop any sort of drop off in 2017.
A decline in play would be bad news for Los Angeles as he is their only consistently great player in the interior of the defensive line.
No. 10 – LB Jatavis Brown
With a weak interior of the defensive front, there could be a lot of free roaming running backs for the linebacker corps to chase down.
With former San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson turning 37-years-old yesterday, it is a must to look back on his incredible career.
In 2006, Tomlinson ran for 1,815 yards and 28 touchdowns in addition to hauling in 508 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. The former Horned Frog set the NFL record for most touchdowns in a single season by a non-quarterback and won the 2006 NFL MVP.
Without a doubt, there will never be another season by a running back similar to this, for the NFL is turning into a pass-first league that commonly uses a running back by committee system.
Therefore, it will be almost impossible for anyone to sniff Tomlinson’s mark of 28 rushing touchdowns. There is not even a good chance that another person will even rush for 20 touchdowns.
With that being said, it will be amazing to see Tomlinson get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this fall as he truly deserves it and there will not be another player as dynamic as him for a long time.
The Los Angeles Chargers had their last practices this week at Chargers Park in San Diego and are now officially moving up the road to Los Angeles. In response, the city of Del Mar, a part of San Diego County, is holding a farewell to the team today at 2 P.M. (PT), via Mighty 1090AM.
Former and current Charger players will be in attendance during the festivities which include winner’s circle salute, photo and autograph session, video clips, and photos commemorating the Chargers’ 56 year run in San Diego.
There is also a hope that the event will help the players, coaches and staff thank the loyal fans after the team was ripped away from the fans’ hearts in January.
Even though the event is not put on by the organization, it is still a great idea to give thanks to the fans of San Diego as there is nothing harder than watching your beloved team find a new home.
The Los Angeles Chargers’ second-round draft pick from the 2017 NFL draft, Chargers guard Forrest Lamp, was worth the high selection. Lamp was the No. 1 rated pass blocker in all of college football during 2016, per Pro Football Focus.
Lamp did not give up many sacks last season, which is great news for Los Angeles. With aging Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, they will need all the protection they can get as Rivers will not be dancing around any defenders at 35 years of age.
To put the stats in perspective, last year’s starting right guard, Chargers guard Spencer Pulley, had a pass blocking grade of 45.1, 54.2 points lower than Lamp, per PFF.
Obviously, the stats might be inflated because the NFL’s competition is greater than college football’s, however, is it worth 54.2 points?
Nonetheless, Los Angeles will have a definite upgrade at a major position of need. As long as Rivers gets solid protection, then he will be able to take advantage of the impressive Chargers receivers and an exciting season will be underway.
Los Angeles Chargers tackle Russell Okung told Chargers’ reporter Hayley Elwood that the guys on the team are “pushing to do something special” as it was one of “the most competitive camps [he has] ever been in.”
For Bolt Nation, it is exciting to hear Okung talk about the culture of the team changing. It seems that every Los Angeles player is buying into the new regime and are bringing high energy and focus to every practice.
Also, Okung is impressed with the offensive line so far, which was a major weakness of the team in 2016. When asked about the offensive line, Okung just replied “wow” and described how competitive and extraordinary the group is, per Elwood.
Currently, everyone is saying and, most importantly, doing the correct things. The team is showing up willing to work hard every day, and with the recent infusion of talent, the team should start realizing winning results on the field in 2017.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen is crucial to the Chargers’ success as he is the talented leader of the team’s receiving corps.
Allen is not only important for his production, but he will play an invaluable role in helping develop young and adept Chargers wide receivers Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams, who are imperative for the organization’s future prosperity.