Rashawn Slater

Chargers To Start Jamaree Salyer At LT

The Chargers have placed starting LT Rashawn Slater on injured reserve, and they will be turning to a rookie to fill the void. As Daniel Popper of The Athletic reported earlier this week, the Bolts will deploy 2022 sixth-rounder Jamaree Salyer on QB Justin Herbert‘s blind side for the team’s Week 4 matchup with the Texans (Twitter link).

It would have been fair to expect veteran Storm Norton, who started 15 games at right tackle for the Chargers in 2021 and who filled in at left tackle in Week 3 when Slater went down with a torn biceps tendon, to get the nod, at least for the next couple of games. That is especially true given that Salyer, who is listed at 6-3, has less than ideal height for an NFL tackle. Given his size, Salyer was originally drafted as a guard, though he does have long arms and acquitted himself well as a tackle against Aidan Hutchinson — this year’s No. 2 overall pick — in the College Football Playoff semifinals last year.

Salyer also has a higher ceiling than Norton, a 2017 UDFA who lost this summer’s training camp battle for the starting RT job to Trey Pipkins III. As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes, the expectation is that Salyer will be a capable replacement for Slater. In the first three weeks of his pro career, Salyer has seen the field for 11 special teams snaps, so Sunday’s game will represent a trial by fire.

Herbert, of course, needs all the protection he can get. The passer is dealing with fractured rib cartilage, and while he came off the injury report on Friday, head coach Brandon Staley has confirmed that the injury will linger and will impact Herbert for some time. Luckily, starting center Corey Linsley — who exited the team’s Week 2 loss to the Chiefs due to a knee injury and who was inactive for the Week 3 loss to the Jaguars — is active for Sunday’s Houston contest.

RapSheet also passes along some good news with respect to Slater. Despite reports that the second-year pro would miss the remainder of the season, he may be able to return near the end of the campaign. If the Chargers are in the playoff hunt, Slater could suit up for one of the final two games of the season, or at least for the first game of the postseason if Los Angeles should qualify.

Cornerback J.C. Jackson, like Herbert, also came off the injury report on Friday.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/28/22

Here today’s minor moves from around the league:

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

Chargers LT Rashawn Slater Likely Out For Season

The Chargers’ offensive line was dealt a massive blow during yesterday’s loss. Left tackle Rashawn Slater suffered a torn biceps tendon, and will likely miss the remainder of the season, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). 

It was already known that the 23-year-old was eyeing a lengthy absence in the aftermath of the team’s game against the Jaguars. This represents the worst-case scenario after today’s testing, though, and could be a crippling loss for Los Angeles’ offensive front.

The No. 13 overall pick last year, Slater was an immediate full-time starter on the blindside as a rookie. He entered the league with questions about whether he would be better suited on the inside at least to begin his career. He answered those rather definitively, earning Pro Bowl and Second-Team All-Pro honors.

The Northwestern alum generated a PFF grade of 83.6 last year, and his play led to similar ratings so far this season. The Chargers have taken significant steps in recent years to protect quarterback Justin Herbertincluding the selection of Slater and signing of center Corey Linsley last offseason. The team invested another first-round pick in Zion Johnson this April to man the right guard spot.

With those two in place, Los Angeles should be better-equipped to handle a loss like this than in years past. Still, replacing Slater with, in all likelihood, Storm Nortonwill notably weaken the team’s o-line. This news also marks another unfortunate update on the injury front early in the campaign.

Reserve tackle Andrew Trainer is on IR. More significantly, cornerback J.C. Jackson has only played in one contest so far, after undergoing offseason ankle surgery. Herbert is currently dealing with the rib cartilage injury he suffered last week, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Yesterday, four-time Pro Bowler Joey Bosa suffered a groin injury which will necessitate further tests (Twitter link via Pelissero’s colleague Ian Rapoport). Regardless of the length of the pass rusher’s absence, the Chargers’ 2022 prospects have taken a major hit.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Chargers’ Rashawn Slater Placed On COVID-19 List

The Chargers will be without a key piece of their offense for their upcoming Thursday night game against the Chiefs. Left tackle Rashawn Slater has been placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list, per the Athletic’s Daniel Popper

The 13th overall pick in the 2021 Draft, Slater has helped stabilize the Chargers’ offensive line – something that was sorely needed, given its performance last year. He has appeared in every game so far this season and has graded out well according to PFF, earning a 79.9 overall grade.

Coming off their 37-21 win over the Giants on Sunday, the Chargers will hope to have Keenan Allen back in time on a short week. At 8-5, they only sit one game behind the division-leading Chiefs, and need a win to further cement their hold on at least a Wild Card position.

Chargers Sign Rashawn Slater 

Northwestern alum Rashawn Slater is officially in the fold. Per a team press release, the Chargers’ first-round offensive lineman has formally signed his rookie deal. 

[RELATED: Vikings Wanted Slater At No. 14]

The Bolts took Slater No. 13 overall, beating the Vikings and other interested clubs to the punch. The son of former eight-year NBA veteran Reggie Slater, Rashawn started 37 games at either left or right tackle between 2017 and 2019. This included a sophomore season where he earned Third-team All-Big Ten honors. Slater also fared well against Chase Young in their final matchup of the 2019 campaign, not allowing the ex-Buckeyes phenom to record a quarterback hit when they were matched up. Despite shifting from right to left tackle as a junior, Slater did not allow a sack in eleven games that year.

Slater managed to maintain his high draft stock despite sitting out the 2020 campaign. Some say the 305-pounder lacks the elite length needed for the outside. The Bolts disagree — they’ll use him at left tackle. They’ll be counting on him big time after watching quarterback Justin Herbert eat 32 sacks last year.

Latest On Unsigned First-Round Rookies

After the Falcons inked first-round tight end Kyle Pitts to his rookie deal earlier today, there are eight first-round rookies who remain unsigned:

1) Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB (Clemson)
2) New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB (BYU)
3) San Francisco 49ers (from Texans via Dolphins): Trey Lance, QB (North Dakota State)
13) Los Angeles Chargers: Rashawn Slater, OT (Northwestern)
14) New York Jets (from Vikings): Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL (USC)
15) New England Patriots: Mac Jones, QB (Alabama)
25) Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams): Travis Etienne, RB (Clemson)
26) Cleveland Browns: Greg Newsome II, CB (Northwestern)

This isn’t a huge cause for concern, as first-round contracts are pretty standard and by-the-book. However, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler has an explanation for why at least a handful of these players still haven’t put pen to paper. According to the reporter (via Twitter), there are still some “wrinkles to work out” for the notable quarterback deals. This sentiment would presumably apply to each of the top-three picks, and it could even be referring to Patriots first-round quarterback Mac Jones.

There’s a number of minor details that agents could be pushing for, including signing bonus terms or any other contract language that goes beyond the standard, boilerplate options. On the other side, teams could be pushing for some type of offset language, meaning the organization would get some financial flexibility if the player for some reason doesn’t finish their rookie contract with the team.

When it comes to the quarterbacks, most of the agents are probably waiting to see how Lawrence’s deal unfolds in Jacksonville. Alternatively, if Bill Belichick and the Patriots (somehow) give in to any demands from Jones camp, you can bet the top-three QBs would argue for similar benefits. While there are a number of reasons why the other, non-QB players have yet to sign, one could guess that the two offensive lineman may be pushing for similar terms (Vera-Tucker could also simply be waiting for his teammate to sign their contract). Etienne is in a unique position as one of only two first-round running backs (or, like Vera-Tucker, he could be waiting for his teammate), while Newsome recently fired his agent.

The teams and the players will want the contracts settled prior to training camp in late-July, but that still leaves a few weeks for negotiating.

Ten First-Round Picks Remain Unsigned

This year, NFL teams have been quick to tackle their rookie paperwork. Still, there are a decent number of unsigned draft picks remaining, including ten of this year’s first-rounders: 

In a sense, this is a sign that things are back to normal in football following the pandemic. For example, by June 12th of 2019, 22 first-round picks had put pen to paper, with 222 rookies inked on the whole. However, around this time last year, there were just two first-round picks officially in the fold – Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Panthers defensive lineman Derrick Brown.

Offset language and similar minutia could be holding these ten deals up, but there’s no reason to panic. In all likelihood, these rookie contracts will be squared away before the start of training camp this summer.

Vikings Discussed Trading Up For Justin Fields

Justin Fields will begin his NFL career in the NFC North, with the Bears having traded up to land the Ohio State passer with hopes of ending their run of quarterback struggles. But one of Chicago’s top rivals was monitoring this situation.

After seeing Fields drop past the Panthers and Broncos at Nos. 8 and 9, the Vikings contacted teams about moving up for a quarterback. Fields was the primary target, according to ESPN.com’s Courtney Cronin. Although Minnesota has Kirk Cousins locked in through 2022, the team wanted to draft one of this year’s top QBs.

The Cowboys traded their No. 10 overall pick to the Eagles, who moved up for DeVonta Smith, and the Giants shipped their 11th overall choice to the Bears, scuttling the Vikings’ Fields hopes. While the Vikes sought to acquire one of the first-round-caliber QBs that did not go in the top three, they were not willing to give up the draft capital necessary for a player who would sit for at least one season, per Cronin.

[RELATED: Vikings Tried To Trade Up Twice In First Round]

A Vikings coach briefed Cousins ahead of the draft to prepare him for the prospect of a quarterback selection, Cronin adds. The team was prepared to select Fields, had he fallen No. 14. The Bears, however, beat them by three picks. It cost them a 2022 first-round pick to move up nine spots to No. 11, but it also denied their rivals a chance to create a Cousins-to-Fields QB transition.

That reality would have likely meant Fields sitting for at least one season. While the Bears hope to execute this strategy as well, it is unlikely Andy Dalton will keep Fields off the field for too long. The Vikings ended up selecting Kellen Mond near the top of the third round. Mond was the seventh quarterback off the board, with the Buccaneers ending Round 2 with their Kyle Trask selection. Mond is viewed as more of a developmental player than Fields and may not end up being a starter-level NFLer.

Rick Spielman said the Vikings tried to trade up from No. 14, and although he declined to specify the target, Cronin notes the team — presumably after Fields went to the Bears at 11 — eyed tackle Rashawn Slater. The left tackle-needy Chargers nabbed Slater at 13. Minnesota traded down to No. 23 and selected Virginia Tech tackle Christian Darrisaw.

Thanks to a clause in Cousins’ 2020 extension, his being on the roster on Day 3 of the 2021 league year guaranteed him $45MM in 2022. His run as Minnesota’s starter will almost certainly stretch to at least five seasons.

Chargers Draft Northwestern T Rashawn Slater No. 13 Overall

With the No. 13 overall pick, the Chargers selected Rashawn Slater. The Bolts weren’t sure if the Northwestern tackle would be available at this stage, but they managed to get one of the top players on their board without mortgaging their remaining draft ammo.

The son of former eight-year NBA veteran Reggie Slater, Rashawn started 37 games at either left or right tackle between 2017 and 2019. This included a sophomore season where he earned Third-team All-Big Ten honors. Slater also fared well against Chase Young in their final matchup of the 2019 campaign, not allowing the ex-Buckeyes phenom to record a quarterback hit when they were matched up. Despite shifting from right to left tackle as a junior, Slater did not allow a sack in 11 games that season.

Slater managed to maintain his high draft stock despite sitting out the 2020 campaign. While the 305-pound offensive lineman stands at 6-foot-3, he lacks the elite length of top offensive tackles. While Slater seems to offer the explosiveness to excel at the position, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if a team looks to develop him as an offensive guard.

Slater can be an immediate contributor on the Chargers offensive line. Justin Herbert looked the part of a franchise quarterback during his rookie season, but he had to tolerate 32 sacks this past year. Slater will certainly keep the signal caller upright.

This is one down for the Bolts, but the Bolts still have eight picks to go this weekend:

  • Round 2: No. 47
  • Round 3: No. 77
  • Round 3: No. 97
  • Round 4: No. 118
  • Round 5: No. 159
  • Round 6: No. 185 (from Jaguars through Titans)
  • Round 6: No. 198
  • Round 7: No. 241