Los Angeles Chargers Rumors & News

Chargers Hire LaDainian Tomlinson

LaDainian Tomlinson has joined the Chargers as a “Special Assistant to the owner of the team,” according to a press release. It sounds like Tomlinson will not have a part in front office decisions as his job will focus more on fan relations. His presence could help smooth over tensions with San Diegans who are feeling scorned by the team’s relocation to Los Angeles.

L.T. is one of the most beloved and iconic Chargers of all time,” said Chairman Dean Spanos in the statement. “His active involvement in our fight for Los Angeles is vital, and he represents the very best of what it means to be a Charger on the field and in the community.”

Chargers Open To Drafting Quarterback

Given that starting quarterback Philip Rivers is 35 years old, and his backup, Kellen Clemens, is 33, the Chargers may start thinking about a successor as soon as the upcoming draft. Speaking at the league meetings earlier today, new Los Angeles head coach Anthony Lynn sounded very amenable to selecting a signal-caller next month, as Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com details.Anthony Lynn (Vertical)

“I think we do have to get a young quarterback on campus and start to develop someone, because we have two veteran quarterbacks and both of them are long in the tooth,” Lynn said. “I think they have some good years left in them, don’t get me wrong, but you have to start thinking about down the line, too.

“I would love for a young quarterback to get in here and learn from Philip. Philip is the ultimate pro in my opinion, so it would be a good situation for a young quarteFrback that doesn’t have to come in and play right now, but can sit, watch and learn.”

Although the Chargers have only drafted three quarterbacks — Charlie Whitehurst, Jonathan Crompton, and Brad Sorensen — since Rivers entered the league, the club is scouting prospects for 2017. Los Angeles has worked out both Texas Tech‘s Patrick Mahomes and Notre Dame‘s DeShone Kizer, and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt attended the Pro Day for Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman. Additionally, Los Angeles is thought to have interest in Davis Webb (Cal).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Meet With Forrest Lamp

  • Most NFL teams believe Western Kentucky offensive lineman Forrest Lamp will be selected in the 20s, per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Lamp will likely play guard in the NFL after playing tackle in college, but he offers versatility that intrigues clubs, as he could slide to the blindside or even to center if needed. Following his Pro Day, Lamp had dinner with the Chargers‘ staff, writes Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com, who reported last week that a number of clubs are interested in Lamp.

Philip Rivers Not Willing To Give Up Role

The Chargers have been connected to a number of quarterback prospects, including DeShone KizerPatrick Mahomes and Josh Dobbs. Current signal-caller, veteran Philip Rivers, understands why his team would start looking for an heir apparent. However, the 35-year-old was also adamant that he’s not looking to give up his role anytime soon.

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Chargers Work Out DeShone Kizer

  • Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer is working out with the Chargers on Friday, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Kizer already worked for the Jets and Browns, Rapoport adds. “(Kizer) makes some throws that Trubisky and Watson cannot make,” ESPN.com’s Todd McShay said during the Notre Dame passer’s pro day (via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com). “But Kizer also misses a lot of throws that typically you wouldn’t see from (Mitchell) Trubisky or (Deshaun) Watson. I think probably he has the strongest arm. He has the biggest upside of all of these quarterbacks.” Potentially ready to tab a successor to Philip Rivers, the Bolts have been linked to Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes as well.

Chargers Work Out Patrick Mahomes

Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who could go anywhere from the top of the first round to the second round in this year’s draft, is drawing interest from three teams with aging franchise signal-callers. A Chargers contingent consisting of head coach Anthony Lynn, offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and quarterbacks coach Shane Steichen put Mahomes through a private workout in Lubbock, Texas, last week, reports Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com. The Bolts have a starting passer in Philip Rivers, but he’ll be 36 in December, so they’ll at least consider taking a QB early. The club is set to pick seventh and 38th in the first two rounds.

New Orleans, meanwhile, has a 38-year-old under center in Drew Brees, meaning there’s more urgency for the club to find its next passer than there is for the Chargers. With that in mind, Saints head coach Sean Payton, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and members of the team’s front office traveled to Lubbock to work out Mahomes on Tuesday, according to NFL.com. “They said every time they see me under center, I look better and better,” Mahomes said of the Saints, who currently own three of the draft’s first 45 selections (Nos. 11, 32 and 42).

Chargers To Re-Sign RB Branden Oliver

The Chargers have agreed to re-sign running back Branden Oliver to a one-year deal, as Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. Exact terms of the deal are not yet known, but it’s quite possible that he has no guaranteed cash, so his roster spot is not a certainty. Branden Oliver (Featured)

Oliver was non-tendered by the Bolts earlier this month, allowing him to explore free agency unencumbered. We did not hear any rumblings of free agent visits or outside interest, so it’s possible that Oliver didn’t find much of a market for his services. He’ll now return to the Bolts, presumably at a lower price than the one-year, $1.797MM original round tender.

Oliver became a focal part of the Chargers’ rushing game in 2014 amidst injuries in the backfield. In 2015, an injury of his own landed him on IR midway through the season. Then, last summer, he suffered an Achilles tear in August and never returned to action. Oliver has not seen the field since November 1, 2015.

The Chargers added running back Kenjon Barner to the fold this week and they now have five RBs in total.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Davis Webb A Potential First-Round Pick?

California quarterback Davis Webb is a candidate to be selected in the first round of next month’s draft, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), who cites a “growing sense” Webb may be chosen on Day 1.Davis Webb (Vertical)

The Jets, Chiefs, and Chargers have all set up interviews with Webb, per Cole, while the Ravens and Buccaneers have also expressed interest in the 6’5″ signal-caller. A club could trade back into the first round with an eye towards drafting Webb, reports Cole, and such a move would enable a team to hold a fifth-year option on Webb. That option — for the 2021 campaign — would allow a club to retain Webb for a fifth season at a cheap rate.

While Webb has generally been considered a Day 2 pick to this point, the overall demand for quarterbacks could conceivably force him into the back end of Round 1. At present, Todd McShay of ESPN.com ranks Webb as the draft’s No. 7 QB, behind Deshaun Watson, Mitch Trubisky, DeShone Kizer, Patrick Mahomes, Nathan Peterman, and Joshua Dobbs.

Webb, 22, transferred to Cal from Texas Tech after losing out on the Red Raiders’ starting job to Mahomes. In his only season with the Bears, Webb completed 61.6% of his passes for 4,295 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Hosting RB Prospect Joe Mixon

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is set to undergo surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff on his throwing shoulder, reports ESPN.com’s David Newton. The former MVP is expected to miss offseason workouts, but he should be recovered for the start of training camp. Newton originally suffered the injury during his Week 14 matchup against the Chargers.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 3/20/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Patriots released running back Tyler Gaffney, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Gaffney has an extensive history with the Patriots but hasn’t played in a game. He spent the past three summers with the team, failing to make New England’s 53-man roster out of camp in each. He vacillated between the Pats’ active roster and practice squad last year, so if history is any indication, a reunion at could ensue at some point later this year.
  • The Chargers re-signed previously non-tendered defensive end Tenny Palepoi, according to a team announcement. Palepoi missed the entire 2015 season with a foot injury but returned to action in 2016. He had 13 tackles in 13 games but wound up missing the last three contests due to a PED suspension. He still has to finish out that ban by sitting out one game in 2017.
  • Another Bolts move: ERFA wide receiver Geremy Davis signed his tender.
  • The Panthers announce they’ve re-signed cornerback Teddy Williams to a one-year extension. Mainly utilized in a special teams role, Williams played in only three games last year due to a knee injury. In 2015, he appeared in all 16 regular-season contests for the NFC champions.
  • Long snapper Jon Condo re-signed with the Raiders. Condo’s been the Silver and Black’s long snapper since the 2007 season after breaking into the NFL with the 2005 Cowboys. Given that long snappers have a precise salary range — 14 of them earn between $1MM and $1.15MM per year — it’s fairly easy to project Condo’s next contract’s AAV. The 36-year-old is the Raiders’ second-longest-tenured player behind Sebastian Janikowski.
  • Cody Parkey will have some competition with the Browns this summer. Cleveland added CFL kicker Brett Maher from the CFL. The 27-year-old hasn’t appeared in an NFL game yet. He’s kicked in Canada for the past three seasons, spending 2016 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Maher made 41 of 50 field goal tries for Hamilton. Parkey, 24, hit 20 of his 25 attempts and made 20 of 21 PATs.
  • The Redskins announced the re-signing of left tackle Ty Nsekhe. Washington placed an ERFA tender on Nsekhe, who at 31 is much older than players normally involved in these transactions. Nsekhe spent the past two seasons with Washington, starting in six games in that span. Four of those starts came last season while Trent Williams was serving a substance-abuse suspension.
  • After the Nick Folk signing created a stacked Buccaneers kicker depth chart, the team released John Lunsford, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Folk and Roberto Aguayo will battle for the Bucs’ kicker job, leaving Lunsford without a role.