The first wave of free agency has calmed down as the league now enters the next phase of filling out their rosters prior to the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Chargers big moves this offseason have mainly come in-house, as the Bolts were able to keep key contributors from the 2022 season around such as right tackle Trey Pipkins III, defensive lineman Morgan Fox, punter JK Scott and others.
And the one outside free agent was a big one, as All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks joined the Chargers following eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. Kendricks will provide a key piece to the middle of that defense, as he is as experienced as they come from the linebacker position.
With the addition of a veteran in Kendricks and keeping major pieces around, ESPN's NFL Nation writer Lindsay Thiry assessed the Chargers moves thus far and whether the team hit their goals.
The Chargers entered free agency with a short list of priorities, among them: re-signing offensive tackle Trey Pipkins III and defensive lineman Morgan Fox and filling the role of Tranquill. Pipkins -- a top priority after demonstrating marked improvement in his fourth season … The Bolts also were able to sign Kendricks, a salary-cap casualty in Minnesota, where he played for eight seasons. Kendricks immediately provides leadership and playmaking ability.
Browse through photos of the Chargers newest linebacker, Eric Kendricks
As Thiry mentioned, Pipkins came off an impressive 2022 where he improved at the right tackle spot while also battling an injury for most of the year. His return means stability to the tackle spot on the offensive line, as the Chargers continue to build the young core up front.
Fox was another player who produced at a high-level last season, as he notched a career-high 6.5 sacks. His ability to move all-around the defensive line was key in a season where the position group battled through many key injuries.
And with Scott, while his move may go under the radar, he was a key part of the Chargers special teams unit having an impressive season. His ability to have great hangtime on punts combined with strong punt coverage had the Chargers ranked first in punt return yards allowed in 2022. Scott's return will continue to play a factor in continuing to make the unit one of the strongest in the NFL.
There is still a long way to go in free agency, and it remains to be seen what moves await the team following the first wave. As proven by signings last year following the draft, those moves done after the first week can be just as valuable to building out a roster.
As for future moves, Thiry believes that there is one position — safety — that the Chargers could address in the coming weeks and months.
The Chargers let Nasir Adderley depart in free agency, and a day later, the 2019 second-round pick announced his retirement. Though Adderley was not part of the plan going forward, the Bolts must fill the hole the three-year starter left behind.
Thiry's full article can be found here.
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