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Trey Pipkins isn't going anywhere.
The Chargers announced Tuesday night that they have agreed to terms with the right tackle, a move that keeps a major piece of the Bolts offense in the fold.
Pipkins was slated to be a free agent when the New League Year began. His return to the Bolts on a multi-year deal is beneficial to both sides.
To start, keeping a solid right tackle in the lineup is crucial for protecting Justin Herbert.
It also gives Pipkins a chance to reach his full potential in the next few seasons, something he's more than capable of doing.
Keep in mind that Pipkins was a bit of a project out of Sioux Falls when the Chargers took him in the third-round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
But he progressed in each of his past four seasons, none more so than the 2022 season when he won the starting right tackle job in training camp and started 14 games.
Pipkins' had a pass-blocking grade of 65.4 in 2022 according to Pro Football Focus, which tied for 44th among tackles with at least 500 pass-blocking snaps.
It's arguable that Pipkins played better than that number indicates, however, as he suffered a knee injury in Week 5 and battled through it the rest of the season.
His toughness endeared himself to teammates and coaches as the Bolts secured a Wild Card spot.
Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco praised Pipkins' play and mindset after the season.
"I'm really proud of him for a number of reasons," Telesco said. "His development of really turning into a starting right tackle in this league, and then, really, how he handled his injury this year. I mean, he is tough.
"He knew how much he meant to the team. He played through some things that are really difficult," Telesco added. "To see his development from the time he got here to now, I'm proud of him of how much work he's put into it. He had a really good year for us."
Now that Pipkins is back in powder blue, he can continue his ascension as an NFL player.
Pipkins is 6-foot-6 and 307 pounds, and his athletic traits that you simply can't teach.
His return also continues the Chargers recent trend of investing in their offensive line.
Rashawn Slater and Pipkins make up a strong tackle combination, while Corey Linsely and Zion Johnson will continue to anchor their spots on their interior.
The only starting spot that could change from a season ago could be at left guard, where incumbent Matt Feiler or 2022 rookie Jamaree Salyer could play.
Either way, the Bolts are building a strong front to protect Herbert. And that unit should only get better now that Pipkins will continue to be the right tackle.
Because the arrow for Pipkins himself is pointing directly up.
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