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What Grade Did ESPN Give the Bolts For Their Offseason Moves?

Buzz 06.19

Whether it be the addition of Head Coach Jim Harbaugh or the array of moves made by General Manager Joe Hortiz, the Bolts made big strides this offseason with an eye on the 2024 regular season.

Count ESPN's Seth Walder among the fans of the Bolts offseason.

Walder went through every team’s offseason moves based on the situation it was in at the start of the offseason and gave them a letter grade, with the Bolts earning an 'A- grade'. The Bolts were one of five teams with a grade of 'A-' or higher.

The move Walder had the highest praise for was the hiring of Harbaugh, as they have been able to set the foundation for the future with the hire and the moves that came following it.

Walder wrote:

It's hard not to buy the Chargers long term with Harbaugh on board given his incredible track record and Justin Herbert under center. This is a team that should be a force in the future.

But what I liked most about the Chargers' offseason was their restraint. They entered the offseason with an aging, expensive roster and instead of trying to gain some short-term wins by borrowing resources from the future, the Chargers largely set up the roster to use this season as a steppingstone for 2025 and beyond. They made minor moves in free agency -- signing veteran players such as linebacker Denzel Perryman, running back Gus Edwards, center Bradley Bozeman and tight end Hayden Hurst -- released high-priced receiver Mike Williams and traded receiver Keenan Allen, another costly veteran. They retained their two veteran edge rushers, Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack (a bit of a surprise), but got them to take pay cuts.

Check out the best photos of the Chargers wrapping up their off-season program on Day 3 of Mini-Camp 2024, the final practice at the team's Costa Mesa facility before moving to The Bolt in El Segundo

In addition to the veteran signings in free agency, Walder also pointed to the moves the Chargers made during the draft.

Walder pointed out that the 2024 draft class can make an immediate impact with an eye on the future, too.

And while the Chargers roster looks different than it did when the offseason started, Walder believes the groundwork has been laid to contend sooner rather than later.

Walder wrote:

In offensive tackle Joe Alt and receiver Ladd McConkey, the Chargers selected two players at key positions early in the draft. Alt should pair up with 2021 Pro Bowler Rashawn Slater to set this team up at tackle for a long time.

After this offseason, the Chargers' roster is a bit diminished and likely can't support a title run ... yet. But they have cap space in 2025 and should be back in the Super Bowl mix soon given their quarterback and head coach.

To read Walder's full grades, click here.

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