While the Chargers could conceivably use another interior offensive lineman, the club is expected to eschew free agent veterans such as Nick Mangold in favor of younger players such as Max Tuerk and Spencer Pulley, as Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com writes. Tuerk, a 2016 third-round pick, didn’t see a single snap during his rookie campaign as he recovered from ACL surgery, but he could earn a starting role in 2017. Incumbent center Matt Slauson also has experience at guard, meaning Los Angeles has the option of deploying its interior lineman — a group that also includes veteran Chris Hairston — in numerous ways.
Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:
- The Rams will put Western Kentucky offensive lineman Forrest Lamp through a workout, tweets Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Lamp, a collegiate tackle who projects as a pro guard, has met with a multitude of clubs in recent weeks, and is now expected to be drafted somewhere in the 20s. NFL teams are apparently high on Lamp’s versatility, given that he should be able to play inside and out, and could even slide to center in a pinch. At present, the Rams’ projected starters on the inside are guards Rodger Saffold and Cody Wichmann and center Demetrius Rhaney. Los Angeles attempted to lure restricted free agent Ryan Groy earlier this offseason, but failed when the Bills matched its offer sheet.
- Linebacker Dekoda Watson‘s three-year deal with the 49ers is worth $5MM, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links). The 2018 and 2019 seasons are team options, however, which would allow San Francisco to reap a compensatory pick if the options are declined. Watson will receive a $1MM signing bonus, and can earn $200K annually in per-game roster bonuses. Watson, 29, will likely stick to a special teams role with the 49ers.
- Although free agent linebacker Rey Maualuga recently took a visit with the Chiefs, no deal is imminent between the two parties. Maualuga, 30, was released by the Bengals last month after eight seasons in Cincinnati.
- In case you missed it, the 49ers agreed to a one-year deal with veteran running back Tim Hightower, who will serve as a backup to Carlos Hyde in 2017.