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Chargers Free Agency Target: Center Corey Linsley

Taking a look at why the Chargers need to target former Packers’ center Corey Linsley.

The biggest concern for the Los Angeles Chargers is their lack of talent on the offensive line. This has been an ongoing issue for many years, as the struggles continue season after season. This is why former Green Bay Packers center Corey Linsley is among the Chargers’ biggest targets in NFL Free Agency.

Chargers Offensive Line Struggles

Before the start of the 2020 campaign, general manager Tom Telesco traded for four-time pro-bowler Trai Turner to strengthen the o-line. LA followed a few days later by signing former Packers’ right tackle Bryan Bulaga to a three-year, $30M deal. The Chargers added two veteran linemen to boost the right side of the line.

It looked as if the offensive line struggles were going to slowly fade away, but it once again didn’t go as projected. Turner appeared in only nine games while Bulaga appeared in 10. The vets’ lack of availability forced the Chargers to scramble their line throughout the season, making it tougher for the rookie quarterback Justin Herbert.

The Chargers planned on veteran center Mike Pouncey to be healthy for 2020, but he was forced to end his season early with a hip injury. Pouncey announced a few weeks ago that he, alongside his brother Maurkice, has retired from the NFL. Dan Feeney took over the center duties and started all 16 games for the Bolts, while also leading the league in total snaps (1174). Feeney’s availability was there, but the production was not. He allowed four sacks and, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Feeney finished the season with an overall grade of 48.2. That kind of production won’t last in the NFL, and so the Chargers need to seriously consider replacing Feeney in either the NFL Free Agency market or the NFL Draft in April.

Chargers Free Agency Target: Corey Linsley

Linsley is the top free agent center on the market. Adding him to this current offensive line will be a huge boost for the offense. PFF graded him at a whopping 89.9 last season, proving to be MVP Aaron Rodgers No. 1 protector. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound center allowed only one sack in 2020 and did not commit a single penalty. Linsley also allowed a career-low 1.7% pressure rate this past season. He started 13 games this year, but started all 16 in the previous three years prior.

The Chargers should be all over Linsley, if he does decide to hit the open market. Most signs are leaning toward him leaving, but returning to Green Bay isn’t out of the question. Here is what Linsley had to say about his upcoming decision on SiriusXM NFL Radio:

“We’re not closing the door on anything. We’d never do that, especially to the Packers. It looks like all signs point towards snapping the ball somewhere else next year. … If it doesn’t work out, I wish them the best.”

Linsley’s market value is just under $10M per season, which means the Chargers can afford to sign him under a contract similar to what they paid Bryan Bulaga last Spring. A three-year, $30M deal should be enough to land the star center. With Linsley snapping, alongside veterans Turner and Bulaga, the Chargers production should trend upwards. The Bolts still need to figure out their left tackle position, but if they land Linsley, then they can focus on a left tackle in the NFL Draft.

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