The Chargers knew that the offensive line was a need heading into free agency, and on the start of tampering, they signed Green Bay Packers free agent center Corey Linsley, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
There was a report they were battling the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals for the All-Pro center, but they ultimately won out. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, they made Linsley the highest-paid center in the NFL, signing him to a five-year deal worth $62.5 million and making $26 million in his first two years.
Linsley was the best statistical center in the NFL last season, according to ProFootballFocus. He was drafted in 2014 by the Packers in the fourth round and went on to play 99 games for the “green and yellow, green and yellow,” as Lil’ Wayne would put it.
This addition to the offensive line is significant because Chargers brass and fans have seen the difference a good center makes to the offense. From Nick Hardwick to Mike Pouncey, they make the difference.
No one will be happier about this move than quarterback Justin Herbert, especially because he is an up-and-coming quarterback. Linsley was with Aaron Rodgers for seven seasons, so he has seen a lot in his career. He also reunites with his former right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who signed with the Bolts last offseason.
Also, according to Garafolo, the Chargers have retained cornerback Michael Davis. He is signing a three-year contract, according to the NFL Network reporter, and $15 million is guaranteed so far.
Davis took some steps in a positive direction in 2020. He had three interceptions and even ran one back 76-yards against Tampa Bay and Tom Brady in week four. He also had a game-saving interception against the Atlanta Falcons that allowed the team to kick the game-winning field goal.
He still has some areas to improve, but it seems like there is a place for Davis in Brandon Staley’s defense. As of right now, the Chargers will return two out of their three starters at cornerback with Davis and fellow cornerback Chris Harris Jr.
Davis is one of the undrafted finds the team made in 2017 out of BYU, who has turned out to be another good signing. He has started 26 games for them the past two seasons and will look to elevate his game with a new contract.
On day one of the tampering window, the Chargers have reportedly hit on two of the biggest areas of need heading into free agency, which was offensive line and secondary. It will be interesting to see if the tight end and pass-rushing areas get addressed next.