Ian Rapoport

Garrett

The Cleveland Browns just got a little bit, if not a lot, better. On Friday, the Browns announced the signing of their number one overall draft pick in Texas A&M defensive lineman Myles Garrett. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the deal is for four years and $30.4 million. The deal includes a $20.25 million signing bonus.

The defensive end was largely considered the best player in the draft and the Browns will be looking for him to make an immediate impact on the field. Garrett is a shredded physical specimen at 6″4′-inches, 272-pounds. At the NFL Combine he recorded 33 reps of the 225-pound bench press, 41-inch vertical jump, a 10″8′-inch broad jump and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64-seconds. At the Texas A&M Pro Day, he improved his 40 time to 4.57-seconds.

The Browns tweeted out the moment Garrett signed on the dotted line while “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal played in the background.

Bolting for the NFL after his junior year at Texas A&M, Garrett amassed 141 tackles (81 solo), 47 tackles for loss, 31 sacks, five passes defensed and one interception. Those numbers would have been even more substantial had it not been for an ankle injury that limited his production last season.

Below is a look at the beast the Browns will be unleashing this season:

Woodhead

 

After losing wide receiver Keenan Allen to a torn ACL in Week 1, the Chargers have additionally lost running back Danny Woodhead to the same injury, a torn ACL in his right knee, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

 

 

 

This comes as a huge blow to the San Diego offense, who has already lost the aforementioned Allen, veteran wideout Stevie Johnson, running back Branden Oliver and tight end Jeff Cumberland.

Though the team trounced the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 38-14 on White Hot Sunday, the loss of Woodhead adds to the litany of injuries this offense has already suffered.

In 2015, Woody led all NFL running backs in receptions and receiving yards. He was also San Diego’s leader in both categories.

Woodhead, 31, missed most of the 2014 season with a broken fibula. Entering what will be his 10th season in 2017, Danny has rushed for 2181 yards and 15 touchdowns, while catching 267 passes for 2,498 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was also averaging 6.1 yards per carry prior to the injury.

The staff at BoltBlitz.com would like to extend its thoughts and prayers to one of our favorite players of all-time, Danny Woodhead.

Get well soon, Woody!

 

Dave Booga Peters

San+Diego+Chargers+v+Pittsburgh+Steelers+i9rhNtAYRipl

 

On Saturday night, quarterback Philip Rivers agreed to a four-year contract extension with the San Diego Chargers that will keep him in lightning bolts through the year 2019. The deal is between $84-85 million dollars and comes with $65 million guaranteed dollars per NFL Networks’ Ian Rapoport who broke the story. Rivers will sign the extension on Monday.

The Chargers front office has taken a lot of fire this offseason for how they have handled player contracts this offseason. They stepped up to the plate and guaranteed Rivers will be a Charger for life as GM Tom Telesco has said in countless interviews. The exclamation point is the guaranteed money. The $65 million is the largest guaranteed dollar amount given to a player in NFL history. The deal surpasses the $61.5 million that was guaranteed to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson just a month ago.

This is a lightning bolt of great news that has energized the San Diego fan base if you peruse social media. Despite what happens in the relocation scenario, the elephant in the room was Rivers, who was in the last year of his current contract this season. The subject of trade speculation in the weeks leading up to the draft, Rivers spoke hesitantly about his willingness to resign if the Chargers move to Los Angeles. Thankfully, that game is over and the franchise quarterback will stay put until the day he decides to hang up his cleats.

Though it remains to be seen how the new members of the offensive line perform, Rivers had to be impressed in the guys the front office brought in to protect him. Orlando Franklin (6’7″, 320 lb) is a left guard the Chargers signed away from the rival Denver Broncos. Joe Barksdale (6’5″, 326 lb) is a right tackle signed away from St. Louis. The pair of 27-year old studs solidify weak spots on both sides of the line.

The signings of reserve center Trevor Robinson (6’5″, 300 lb), guard Michael Huey (6’4″, 317 lb) and tackle Chris Hairston (6’6″, 330 lb) provide quality depth to a line that resembles a turnstile last season. This group will be tasked with keeping Rivers clean and opening holes for the running backs. At first look, they look very capable of doing so.

With Rivers solidly back in the fold, they are primed to overtake the Denver Broncos and reclaim their former dominance at the top of the AFC West. They’re bound to experience growing pains with new workhorse running back Melvin Gordon. Much is expected of the Chargers 2015 first round draft pick but his transition to the pro game will be a little easier with a stable of veterans to lean on. A healthy Danny Woodhead and human bowling ball Branden Oliver will also take pressure off as they will share the backfield load, turning the running back position into a three-headed monster.

This deal was inevitable. Rivers is undoubtedly the heart and soul of the team. He is the undisputed leader and face of the franchise. Rivers’ intelligence, toughness and passing proficiency is unquestioned. At this moment, Rivers is the sixth highest rated passer in NFL history. By the end of his career, Rivers will own every significant Chargers passing record.

Will San Diego win the West this year? If they stay healthy (big if), they can absolutely overtake the Broncos. At the very least the race for the top spot should go down to the wire. I expect at least ten wins this season which puts them in the playoff picture. Rivers has his best collection of offensive talent top to bottom since the Tomlinson years.

Peyton Manning is already declining and will most likely retire at the end of this or next season. Rivers still has plenty of life left in his arm and we long suffering bolts fans can finally realistically expect deep postseason runs culminating with a long overdue Super Bowl ring(s) for our MVP!

Congratulations Philip from all of us in Bolt Nation!

 

Bolt up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TelescoMagic

 

 

Weddle

 

With the buildup of the Chargers’ meeting with the City on Tuesday, it wasn’t expected that news on Monday would be all that plentiful.

That was not the case, as there were multiple things of note that transpired.

– A report from NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport stated that the Chargers are quietly looking into a contract extension for defensive lineman Corey Liuget. The 25-year-old is in the last year of his rookie deal. He has yet to reach his ceiling as a player, and the sky is the limit for the best front-seven player on the Charger defense.

– Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Chargers told Eric Weddle via his agent, David Canter, the team will not be working on a contract extension during the 2015 season. This will allow Weddle to become a free agent next season. The 30-year-old has not showed up to any OTAs in hopes of receiving a long-term deal with the team. Weddle has expressed his desire to retire with the Chargers.

– The Chargers brought back cornerback Lowell Rose on Monday. Rose spent time on the practice squad last season, playing in three preseason games prior to be released. He was then picked up by the Dolphins, seeing time in five games. The team waived rookie undrafted free agent Cameron Clemmons in order to make room on the roster for Rose.

– Dan Meis of MEIS Stadium Planning, Construction, and Renovation, Inc. was quoted in the San Diego Reader with some odd comments regarding the city of San Diego and the renderings of the stadium he put together. Here is the quote below:

San Diego is not a ponderous monument to America’s industrial glory days, like Cincinatti. There, I build a stadium solid enough to withstand my own renovation efforts, just 15 years after it opened. Nor is San Diego a glorious supercity like Los Angeles, where I built the Staples Center as a monument to the idea that sports are essentially show business. No, San Diego is a fragile collection of largely unrelated segments, held together by only the flimsiest threads of geographical proximity and fondness for tacos and sunshine. I needed a design that reflected that fragile, almost gossamer sense of connection. I found it in the support system for the stadium’s roof canopy: a network of cables that work together almost invisibly to keep everyone in relative comfort. It’s not a masterpiece or anything, but then, this is San Diego. Who would know if it was?

 

– According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, head coach Mike McCoy was upset with rookie inside linebacker Denzel Perryman’s participation in a charity dodgeball game this past weekend. Perryman has been a limited participant in OTAs due to a hamstring ailment. It is difficult to say if there is any truth as to whether or not McCoy was truly upset, but the coach did have this to say: “It’s been discussed,” McCoy said. “That’s all I’m going to say. I’ve discussed it with him. That’s it. You’ve got to get past these tests here before you do all of that stuff.”

It comes as no surprise that the usually tight-lipped McCoy didn’t elaborate on the subject. Perryman seemed to find amusement with the way that the media was handling the situation.

 

As you can see, it was an eventful Monday at Chargers Park. Tuesday is only the beginning of what will be the groundwork of the City and the Chargers working together to keep the team in San Diego.

TGC-McCoy-and-Telesco

 

 

With free agency officially set to open tomorrow, Tuesday March 10th at 4 p.m. ET. exactly, NFL teams are preparing to sign some heavy hitters. Since last week, rumors and predictions have circulated as fans eagerly wait for what is set to unfold. As of right now, everything is all speculation which leaves Tom Telesco and the Chargers still in the hunt for big name players. Let’s stop there because the Bolts don’t sign big names.

It was nice to ponder the thought of free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh coming to a team with a tremendous need for a nose tackle, but it was all a fictional. An array of fans flooded social media when it was announced by NFL Media insider’s Ian Rapoport that Suh is being considered by the Chargers. What a tease. Bolt fans had to have known that names like his don’t ever come to San Diego. It is already looking like this year’s free agency signees won’t be anything like what A.J. Preller did in the Padres’ offseason. I would love to eat my words on that.

Well, wait a second. The previous back office has been gone for a few seasons now and this is the first year Telesco has had cap breathing room. Fans have been unable to determine what the young general manager is capable of, but most importantly, willing to do in order to build a Super Bowl contending team.

We all know what happened in recent years with some semi big name signings. Jared Gaither and Derek Cox are just a couple that did not live up to their contracts, to say the least. Is it the money or just the uncertainly that the back office feels the need to justify not snagging a big hitter via free agency? Either way, I believe starting tomorrow things may start to change.

There has to be some reasoning as to why big name players should not be chased. For example, it’s reported that Suh will sign with the Miami Dolphins for a 5-year, $114 million dollar contract, but should the Chargers spend a quarterback’s salary on a defensive tackle? It’s debatable, but not wise when the roster has many gaps yet to fill. Yes, Telesco finally has money to spend, but it shouldn’t be spent on a single big name guy.

In the most positive news yet to transpire, per Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union Tribune, free agent guard/tackle Orlando Franklin is set to join the Chargers. Seems as if strides are being made for big names. According to NFL Trade Rumors, Franklin is ranked 19th of 100 free agents in 2015 which gives him a presumable headliner label.

Last week, the Bolts added an explosive kick returner, Jacoby Jones, to the roster. In addition to him, Telesco then solidified the secondary by re-signing cornerback Brandon Flowers. These players may not be big names per say, but they add much-needed value to the organization.

It’s always been a stigma that the Chargers don’t sign heavy hitters via free agency. This offseason seems to be different, and things are progressing forward with player talent, rather regressing. Bolt fans should be hopeful with the leadership of Tom Telesco and company. In the next few weeks, his true colors will be exposed. I’m hopeful for bright and exuberant colors, opposed to the gloomy grays.

 

Briana Soltis

suh2

 

In what will be the news of the day in San Diego, it has become known that the Chargers will be bidding for the services of prized free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Take a look at this tweet from leading NFL insider Ian Rappaport:

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How can you not love that? Sure, it’s nowhere near a done deal but the Chargers are making it known they are going to be in the mix for Suh. We’ve watched GM Tom Telesco work wonders with the Chargers salary cap for two seasons where he’s had nothing but pocket change to spend on players. Finally unburdened of the bad contracts left over from the previous regime, the Chargers have over 30 million in cap space and we’re all curious to see how Telesco spends with a pocket full of Benjamins.

Suh is the biggest and most expensive free agent on the market and for good reason. He is literally a franchise changing player. At 6’4, 305 Suh is the most dominant nose tackle in the game and easily one of the top five defensive players in the league.

Known for his brute power, Suh commands double teams every play and is a disruptive force in the middle of the line. Suh is a run-stopping, quarterback sacking mountain of a man who plays with a primal rage that has seen him get fined by the league multiple times.

What does this say about the Chargers?

One, the Chargers know there is a big hole at the nose tackle position and there is no one better to plug that hole than Suh. Two, the Chargers are not afraid to break the bank for a franchise player. Suh turned 28 in January and is entering his sixth season. Just entering his prime, Suh has only missed two games in his career (in 2011) and has already logged 239 tackles and 36 sacks. He is the anchor that Chargers haven’t had since Jamaal Williams and he’s the biggest free agent to hit the open market since Reggie White for those reasons. Three, it says the Chargers are ready to win NOW. You don’t bring in a player of this caliber with a five-year plan in mind.

The Chargers are on the precipice of making waves in the playoffs. What’s stopped them? Defense has been a big issue. The Chargers have ranked 32nd, 17th, 24th, 10th, 24th in total defense in the last five seasons.  Suh holding down the middle of the field means favorable one-one-one matchups for pass rushers like Corey Liuget, Melvin Ingram, Dwight Freeney, Donald Butler and Jerry Attaochu. With Suh collapsing the pocket on the quarterback and/or ball carrier, it creates opportunity for sacks and turnovers. So much attention will be applied to him that rushers will be able to get to the ball.

Suh doesn’t fix everything that’s wrong with the defense but his presence allows defensive coordinator John Pagano a wealth of flexibility and creativity in his play calling knowing that there is a brick wall in the middle of his defense. The pass rush gets better, which means the secondary can also play more instinctively knowing the opposing quarterback has less time to throw.

This move, should it come to pass, says the Chargers are all in for getting the mainstays like Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Eric Weddle, Malcom Floyd their Super Bowl opportunity. It says the Chargers are serious about providing star power that fans will want to come out and see, in San Diego. Even if it doesn’t come to pass, if they do make a serious offer it should show the fan base they’re committed to getting a championship sooner than later.

What about Suh’s baggage?

Suh is the classic example of the player everyone hates until he’s wearing your team’s colors. He’s a beast and his overly aggressive style of play has made him the most reviled player in the league. That reputation now becomes the Chargers’ reputation; a defense no one wants to play against. As long as Suh produces, the extra curricular activities however Raider-esque they are, can be overlooked.

What about the money?

If you got it, spend it. I applaud this move. The Chargers aren’t going to throw chump change at B plus players, they’re shooting at the top stars with a ‘Why not us’ mentality and that is encouraging to me as a Chargers fan. With Telesco handling the proceedings, when Suh comes to town, I don’t expect him to leave.

Now about that championship….

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TelescoMagic

 

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