Alright, Chargers fans, everyone take a deep breath, in through the nose and slowly exhale through the mouth. Now, repeat those steps as many times as it takes to get you to a relaxed state. That exercise will do you, and all of us who read your social media rants a lot of good.
Yes, I’m talking to those Chargers fans that after four days of free agency have already lit their torches, sharpened their pitchforks, and began the trek to Chargers Park and Tom Telesco’s (TT) office. Take a breath, people! Let the man do his job. Let’s be honest. If you or I know more about running a professional football franchise than the team’s General Manager (GM), the team is in worse trouble than we knew!
I read all the complaints about how TT is letting Bolt fans down and he is not going after top-notch players. If these fans had their way, Telesco would have signed DeMarco Murray, Ndamukong Suh, Dwayne Bowe, Terrance Knighton, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Darrelle Revis, and so on down the line of big names to contracts that would still have left us room under the cap! Well here are a couple simple facts for all fans to remember:
- There is a salary cap in the NFL. Teams can only spend up to the cap, whether they have more needs or not. If you spend a large chunk of your cap space on one player, you may not be able to fill other holes that you have. I’m sorry, but the Chargers have many holes to fill.
- Rome wasn’t built in a day. Okay, that is a little cliché, but it fits. Tom Telesco and the Chargers staff have been trying to dig out of the hole that former GM A.J. Smith left them in ever since they took over a couple years ago. The team was a mess. There were some key guys to build around, for example, Rivers, Gates, Weddle, and Hardwick, but not very many quality supporting players. Telesco has brought in some quality players via the draft, trades, and free agency, but it takes time to build a football team from (almost) scratch.
On the flipside, I understand that we live in a win now, must win society. No one likes to go to work on Monday morning and hear about how their team lost, or didn’t make the playoffs. There is nothing worse than listening to your co-worker brag about how his team has three rings and your team has none (you know who I’m referring too). So, you are mad as hell and you aren’t going to take it anymore? Well, unless you are going to jump on another team’s bandwagon, you don’t have much choice.
Now, every year we run into this kind of drama, but this year seems to be worse than normal. Why do Bolt fans seem so desperate? I have two reasons for their panic:
- The new stadium. Let’s face it; this could be the last season for the San Diego Chargers. Fans want to see their team win a championship for their city, not Los Angeles or Carson, or anywhere else. How did Los Angeles Rams fans feel when the Rams took off to St. Louis and then almost immediately win a ring? That had to sting. No one wants that in San Diego. Not to mention, if the Chargers could win the Super Bowl this season, the odds on obtaining the necessary votes to build a new stadium would greatly increase.
- The Padres. This may be a little more of a stretch, but perhaps watching the Padres spend money and seemingly sign whomever they wanted in the offseason got the emotional Bolt fan worked up. “Why can’t we sign guys like the Padres did?” Well I’ll tell you why; because of the salary cap. A.J. Preller, the GM of the Padres, was given permission to spend and spend a lot. He worked his magic and brought more talent at one time than any San Diego franchise has ever been able to bring in. But let’s face it; the Chargers do not have the ability to spend as much as they want on players. They are limited by rules that do not apply in Major League Baseball.
So do yourself a favor and sit back, relax and enjoy the process. Don’t expect more than is possible to deliver. Tom Telesco is trying to build an entire team. Remember, it takes two to Tango. You may have heard that he was the highest bidder to court Andre Johnson and Johnson decided to take less money to play in Indy. That is not Telesco’s fault. These things happen and he has to move on to the next guy on the wish list.
One last thing to remember, when building a team, the GM has free agency, the draft, and camp signings that are often after week 3 of preseason. The team you see today is not the finished product. Give Telesco a chance to prove he knows more than we do. Keep the faith! Go Bolts!
So how do you feel about the job Tom Telesco is doing so far? Is there any certain player you want him to sign? Leave a comment below to share your opinion.
Let’s speculate that Terrance Knighton, defensive tackle for the bane in the backsides of San Diego’s Chargers, the Denver Broncos, comes to town for a visit. Wouldn’t it be great to nab a player from one of the Bolts’ AFC West rivals? Yes, I know we have Sean Lissemore and Ryan Carrethers. But, truth be told, that position in the middle of the line, nose tackle, hasn’t been the same since big ol’ Jamal Williams (one of my favorites!) was released in 2010.
So, what would the Chargers get if they could sign Knighton? 200 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 10 pass deflections, 2 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles over his six years in the league. A proven leader. Someone that helps solidify the defensive front. And one other thing? Let’s not forget one all-important fact: DURABILITY. The man has only been injured three (that’s right, 3) times over the course of his career. The best part?
That nasty attitude in the defensive line is sorely lacking! As Nick Hardwick said shortly before he retired, “We’ve got to bring some bad, bad dudes in here”. Though he was referencing former players Steve Foley and Randall Godfrey, (and they were fearsome!), the fact remains that there really isn’t much nasty to the Chargers defense. They need the talent of Suh without all the other baggage. Jarret Johnson retired and Dwight Freeney’s status with the Bolts is unknown. Knighton gives the Chargers a veteran presence that will be needed to fill that void. I think his mean, tough, “you gotta go through me” attitude would bolster the young guys to play a little more aggressively. Knighton is 28, not much older than the rest of the defensive line. Can you imagine what Corey Liuget (6’2, 300 pounds) and Kendall Reyes (6’4, 300 pounds) could be like with Knighton, who is 6’3 and 335 pounds, between them?! Add Ingram and Attachou, plus that guy who is all over the place – Weddle – and their collective hard-hitting moxy – all I can say is, that sounds like a bunch of “bad dudes” to me!!
In comparison, Lissemore has been in the league since 2010 and traded by Dallas to San Diego in 2013. Overall stats: 119 tackles (53 in SD), 6.5 sacks (3/SD), 1 interception (returned for touchdown), and 1 fumble recovery. Carrethers will be entering his second year and while he didn’t play much, he had nine tackles.
The only downside I’ve been able to find on him is in relation to his weight. Denver has fined him several times, to the tune of $300,000, for not adhering to weight markers. Knighton has slimmed down, changed his eating habits, and feels that he will be able to maintain an ideal weight going forward.
Sure, Knighton said he’d take a hometown discount to stay in Denver. However, they may not have the money to do it after all the spending Elway did last offseason in free agency. His contract, when he signed there in 2013, was a two-year, $4.5 million deal that gave him a $500,000 signing bonus with $500,000 guaranteed. Salary was $2.25 million, plus a million dollar roster bonus for 2014. So, why not offer him the same deal to play in San Diego?
Personally, I like the possibility of Knighton wearing lightning bolts as opposed to either an orange-maned horse or silver “pirate” with swords through his head. Really appealing if it can be accomplished at a cap-friendly number. How about you?
Thanks for reading!
Cheryl A. White
HELLO FOOTBALL FANS !!!!!
I am finding it hard to write this article. Two of the top acquisitions once dawned Bolt colors. That’s one heck of a receiver we cut three or four games into his career (Wes Welker).
Did I mention San Diego lost one of their top offensive lineman in Vasquez?
I give Fox and company an A+ for the Free Agency moves made this off season. I am sure having a Hall of Fame QB (Elway) for a G.M. does not hurt when attracting talent. Well, how do you surpass a team that finished 2012 13-3? I’m not sure you do.
WR REC. YARDS AVG. LONG TD
Wes Welker 118 1,354 11.5 59 6
OL GP SCKS ALLOWED
Louis Vasquez 16 2.5
DT SOLO/ASST TOTAL SACK/INT FF
Terrance Knighton 20/12 32 2/0 2
Stewart Bradley 6/2 8 0/0 0
Dominique Cromartie-Rodgers 43/8 51 3/0 0
(WR) Wes Welker – Lovely another effective weapon for Peyton. (Losing players like him is why A.J. needed to go.)
(OL) Louis Vasquez – Better protection for a future H.O.F. QB in our division. Just what the doctor ordered.
(DT) Terrance Knighton – Let’s add a menace in the middle to a superb defense.
(LB) Stewart Bradley – Solid body to give starters a rest.
(CB) D. Cromartie-Rodgers – A very solid corner who just didn’t quite find his groove in Philly.
THANKS FOR READING! LEAVE YOUR THOUGHTS BELOW!