SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-12)
OPEN CAMP: July 30, San Diego
LAST YEAR: Chargers finished 4-12, their worst record in 12 seasons, including being swept in AFC West, as ownership angered fan base with failed attempt to move to Los Angeles. First-round pick Melvin Gordon failed to score touchdown or have 100-yard game, mostly due to ineffective offensive line. Despite missing playoffs for fifth time in six seasons, Chargers gave coach Mike McCoy one-year contract extension through 2017, but fired half his staff.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: C Matt Slauson, WR Travis Benjamin, NT Brandon Mebane, FS Dwight Lowery, CB Casey Hayward, rookie DE Joey Bosa, offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: S Eric Weddle, TE Ladarius Green, DE Kendall Reyes, WR Malcom Floyd.
CAMP NEEDS : Bosa needs to show up. Missed mandatory minicamp in June in contract dispute and it's unclear how long he might sit out. One of his agents, Tom Condon, famously told Chargers before 2004 draft not to take Eli Manning. Condon also had high-profile spats with Chargers in past involving clients LaDainian Tomlinson and Drew Brees. Gordon must have strong recovery from microfracture knee surgery in January. Offensive line needs to jell after miserable 2015 season.
EXPECTATIONS: Chargers should be better than last year, but still might not be playoff team. Chargers will be under pressure to have winning record on Nov. 8, when voters will be asked to approve increase in hotel tax to pay approximately $1.1 billion of $1.8 billion downtown stadium and convention center annex. Polling shows many voters not in favor of proposal, and powerful tourism industry is also against it.
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