Los Angeles Chargers Rumors & News

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/19/17

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

New England Patriots

New York Giants

  • K Aldrick Rosas

San Diego Chargers

  • WR Da’Ron Brown
  • WR Jamaal Jones

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Redskins Interview John Pagano For DC

The Redskins today interviewed incumbent Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano for the same role on their staff, according to John Keim of ESPN.com. Pagano hasn’t officially been released from his contract in San Diego, but given that the Chargers are not only conducting interviews to replace him, but allowed him to meet with Washington, it’s fair to assume Pagano won’t be coaching in San Diego next season.John Pagano

[RELATED: 2017 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker]

Pagano, 49, has spent his entire NFL coaching career with the Chargers, working his way up from defensive quality control to defensive coordinator, assuming the latter position in 2012. In his first four years on the job, the Chargers didn’t post a better defensive DVOA ranking than 18th, and finished last in the NFL in 2013. The defense turned in its best Pagano-led showing in 2016 (eighth), but that wasn’t enough to persuade new San Diego head coach Anthony Lynn to retain Pagano.

The Redskins’ search for a new defensive coordinator has become the most exhaustive hunt for a play-caller in the league, on either side of the ball. Counting Pagano, Washington has now been linked to 10 candidates as it looks for former DC Joe Barry‘s replacement. While former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley was at one time viewed as the leading candidate, the Redskins have also expressed interest in three former Rob Ryan disciples (Rex Ryan, Dennis Thurman, and Mike Pettine), 49ers linebackers coach Jason Tarver, and will meet with their own LBs coach, Greg Manusky.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFLPA Announces Cap Carryover Amounts

The NFL Players Association has announced all 32 teams’ salary cap carryover amounts for the 2017 season (Twitter link). Next season’s cap figure isn’t yet known, but it’s likely to be in the $165MM range. When that becomes official, it can be added to each team’s carryover amount to determine that club’s official spending room for 2017.

Here are this year’s carryover totals:

  1. Cleveland Browns: $50,123,269
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars: $39,314,310
  3. San Francisco 49ers: $38,708,916
  4. Tennessee Titans: $24,046,522
  5. Washington Redskins: $15,055,131
  6. Carolina Panthers: $13,208,020
  7. Miami Dolphins: $8,363,708
  8. Chicago Bears: $8,103,197
  9. Oakland Raiders: $8,000,000
  10. Green Bay Packers: $7,984,687
  11. Philadelphia Eagles: $7,933,869
  12. Denver Broncos: $7,243,248
  13. Indianapolis Colts: $6,614,106
  14. Cincinnati Bengals: $6,578,866
  15. New Orleans Saints: $5,754,000
  16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $5,330,779
  17. New England Patriots: $5,292,335
  18. Kansas City Chiefs: $5,002,168
  19. Houston Texans: $4,935,924
  20. Detroit Lions: $4,725,644
  21. Arizona Cardinals: $4,405,068
  22. Pittsburgh Steelers: $3,269,367
  23. Buffalo Bills: $2,837,222
  24. Baltimore Ravens: $2,553,126
  25. Dallas Cowboys: $2,401,553
  26. Seattle Seahawks: $2,065,865
  27. New York Giants: $1,800,000
  28. Atlanta Falcons: $926,541
  29. Minnesota Vikings: $400,184
  30. New York Jets: $371,487
  31. Los Angeles Rams: $304,311
  32. Los Angeles Chargers: $113,693

Texans To Promote Mike Vrabel To DC

The Texans are promoting linebackers coach Mike Vrabel to defensive coordinator, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Predecessor Romeo Crennel will stay on the Texans’ staff and become their assistant head coach.

Mike Vrabel

This is seemingly a boon for Houston, which potentially could have dealt with the departures of both Vrabel and Crennel this offseason. Vrabel drew head coaching interest from the Rams, who instead hired Sean McVay, and both the Chargers and Redskins were eyeing him for their D-coordinator vacancies, according to Breer (Twitter link).

Meanwhile, the soon-to-be 70-year-old Crennel was on an expiring contract prior to Wednesday. Head coach Bill O’Brien made it clear earlier this week that the team didn’t want to lose Crennel.

“Romeo’s done a great job,” O’Brien said Monday. “I know we’d love to have him back. I haven’t sat down with any coaches yet, but I can tell you Romeo’s a great coach. He means a lot to me personally, and we’d love to have Romeo back.”

Crennel had served as the Texans’ defensive coordinator since 2014, and the unit ranked between sixth and eighth in DVOA in each season under his stewardship. Houston also led the NFL in yardage allowed in 2016, which was especially impressive given that superstar end J.J. Watt only played in three games and went on injured reserve in late September. The Crennel-led, Watt-less Texans had other stars emerge, including end Jadeveon Clowney and cornerback A.J. Bouye, while linebacker Whitney Mercilus‘ standout play continued.

Mercilus has worked directly with Vrabel, who was a terrific NFL linebacker in his own right from 1997-2010. Vrabel played under Crennel in both New England and Kansas City during that time, and he then joined him on Houston’s coaching staff in 2014. The two will remain together in 2017, though it’ll be Vrabel manning Crennel’s longtime position. Crennel has been a D-coordinator with four different teams since 2000.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers To Keep Ken Whisenhunt; Will Interview Gus Bradley Again

Before the Chargers hired Anthony Lynn as their head coach, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that he would retain offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt if he got the job. That will indeed be the case, Lynn confirmed Tuesday at his introductory press conference. Whisenhunt, who’s in his second stint with the Chargers, will enter his third season atop the club’s offense. He has a “strong relationship” with quarterback Philip Rivers, notes CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (Twitter link).

As for the Bolts’ defensive coordinator position, Lynn revealed that he’ll conduct a second interview with Gus Bradley on Tuesday, tweets John Keim of ESPN.com. Lynn and Bradley have been connected to one another over the past few weeks, and the ex-Jacksonville head coach is reportedly the front-runner to take over the Chargers’ defense. At the same time, though, Bradley’s waiting to see if San Francisco will vie for his services.

Chargers Want Gus Bradley As DC, Bradley In No Rush To Sign

The Chargers and new head coach Anthony Lynn want Gus Bradley to be their defensive coordinator, reports Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter). It was reported last week that the new Los Angeles franchise was looking at Bradley for the gig, and that interest made more sense following reports that former defensive coordinator John Pagano wouldn’t be returning.

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  • The Titans have added a pair of coaches to their staff. Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com reports that the team has added former Temple passing game coordinator Frisman Jackson as their new wide receivers coach. The team has also hired Craig Aukerman to be an assistant special teams coach. Aukerman served as the Chargers special teams coordinator last season.

Craig Aukerman To Interview With Broncos

  • Chargers special teams coach Craig Aukerman will interview for the same position with the Broncos, tweets Marvez. Former Bolts special teams coach Kevin Spencer is also in the running, per Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link). Those two join Marwan Maalouf and Derius Swinton II as known candidates for the top ST job in Denver under new head coach Vance Joseph.

Chargers Likely To Replace John Pagano

The beginning of Anthony Lynn‘s tenure as the Chargers’ head coach will likely bring about the end of defensive coordinator John Pagano‘s long run with the organization. The club isn’t expected to retain Pagano, reports Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link).

John Pagano

With high-profile defensive coordinator candidate Gus Bradley set to interview for that role with the Chargers, the news of Pagano’s forthcoming exit comes as no surprise. Bradley is reportedly the front-runner to land the job with the newly minted Los Angeles franchise. Further, the idea of Bradley joining a Lynn-fronted staff has come up as a possibility since the latter was the Bills’ interim head coach at the end of the regular season.

To this point, Pagano has spent his entire coaching career with the Chargers, who hired him as a defensive quality control coach in 2002. He eventually climbed to the defensive coordinator position in 2012, though the unit mostly struggled under Pagano. In his first four years on the job, the Chargers didn’t post a better defensive DVOA ranking than 18th, and they finished last in the NFL in 2013. The defense turned in its best Pagano-led showing in 2016 (eighth), but it doesn’t appear that will be enough to save the 49-year-old.

While Pagano is on his way out, some of his assistants will remain in place. Earlier Friday, Sporting News’ Alex Marvez reported that defensive line coach Giff Smith, defensive backs coach Ron Milus and assistant DBs coach Chris Harris will return in 2017. Linebackers coach Bob Babich is gone, though, having taken a job with Lynn’s previous employer – Buffalo.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Retain Three Defensive Coaches

  • Along with officially hiring Leslie Frazier as their new defensive coordinator, the Bills announced the additions of Juan Castillo (offensive line coach/run game coordinator) and Bob Babich (linebackers) to their coaching staff Friday. They’ll also retain special teams coach Danny Crossman for a fifth season. Castillo, who spent the past four years with the Ravens, was previously a longtime staff member in Philadelphia – where he became familiar with new Bills head coach Sean McDermott. Babich coached the Chargers’ linebackers this past season, which came after a three-year run as the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator.
  • Chargers defensive line coach Giff Smith, defensive backs coach Ron Milus and assistant DBs coach Chris Harris will remain in place under Anthony Lynn, relays Sporting News’ Alex Marvez (Twitter link). They could end up on the defensive staff of Gus Bradley, who will interview for the Bolts’ D-coordinator job.

Chargers To Interview Gus Bradley For DC Job

The Chargers coaching staff has seen plenty of turnover, and now there’s another name to add to the list of potential additions. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the organization will interview Gus Bradley for the role of defensive coordinator. The former NFL head coach is the “favorite” for the gig.

Gus Bradley (vertical)Bradley has been a relatively popular name since he was fired by the Jaguars in mid-December. The 50-year-old was reportedly atop the Redskins’ list of potential defensive coordinator candidates. Bradley has a natural connection to that organization, as the coach worked under general manager Scot McCloughan when the duo was in Seattle. The Browns also reportedly reached out to Bradley regarding their defensive coordinator vacancy.

Bradley had plenty of success as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator, a position he held from 2009 through 2012. However, things didn’t go nearly as well during his head coaching tenure in Jacksonville. In his three-plus seasons with the organization, Bradley compiled a 14-48 record. His .226 winning percent is the second-lowest mark in league history.

The Chargers don’t necessarily have an opening at the position, as defensive coordinator John Pagano is still under contract. However, there seems to be a belief that recently-hired head coach Anthony Lynn will want to hire his own personnel. Bradley and Lynn have been connected throughout the hiring process, and our own Sam Robinson noted that “a Lynn-Bradley ticket was previously thought to be the way the Bills would go.”

For what it’s worth, it appears that the Chargers will be retaining offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.