In the modern day NFL it seems like there is always something going on. After the regular season comes the postseason, then free agency, then the combine, the draft, signings, OTA’s, training camps, and that leads right into the preseason. There is little doubt that football has become a 12 month sport, however the months between the Super Bowl and the first preseason game in August is still known as the offseason. And the Chargers may have just had their worst offseason ever.
Sure that sounds like quite a statement, considering some of the offseasons the San Diego has seen. In 2006 the greatest Charger ever, Junior Seau went from retiring as a Charger to joining their playoff rival New England Patriots. That same offseason they lost NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Shawne Merriman, for 4 games because of steroid use. Quite a bad offseason. In the 2009 offseason All-Pro and defensive anchor Jamal Williams tore his tricep and was out for the year along with Pro Bowler Shawne Merriman because of a knee injury. That offseason killed what was a serious shot at a Super Bowl. Speaking of shot, 2006’s offseason also had starting linebacker Steve Foley taking a bullet. Still nothing compares to this 2015 offseason.
The 2015 offseason, where San Diego’s best player was not negotiated with, the biggest offensive weapon was suspended for cheating, and the team’s biggest free agent, the city, looks like they will not be resigning with the Bolts. It was an offseason that saw the fanbase split on whether or not to keep the franchise quarterback or start the rebuild with a rookie, a trade that didn’t even happen.
Sure the draft gave the team Melvin Gordon who should fix a RB situation that has been broken since LT left. But that is one of few moves that does not make up for an offseason that has ruined Phillip Rivers’ last shot at a Super Bowl.
Of course Rivers should be happy to still be in San Diego after offseason rumors were swirling about a possible trade sending the 11 year veteran to Tennessee for what would have been the new face of the franchise, QB Marcus Mariota. Of course, starting a rookie QB isn’t the “we aren’t making the playoffs this year” that it used to be thanks to QB’s like Dalton, Luck, RGIII, and so forth, but make no mistake trading your future Hall of Fame quarterback for a risky spread option QB isn’t a move with instant rewards. And even though this trade didn’t happen, the buzz around it was enough to divide a fan base between those wanting to build for the future and those who thought they could still win big with current QB Phillip Rivers. Although, just because the trade didn’t go through doesn’t mean all is well in San Diego for the Pro Bowl quarterback.
Rivers will be without future Hall of Fame tight end Antonio Gates because of his use of PED’s, but unlike the Patriots, the Chargers can’t get away with their best player missing the 1st 4 games of the season. Especially when that player was responsible for 20% of the yards and the 40% of the TD’s, more than any other receiver on the team.
Somebody else they can’t get away with losing is Eric Weddle, arguably the best safety in the AFC. Unfortunately it looks like the Chargers will be without the Pro Bowler after this season because of what Weddle called betrayal in contract talks. He skipped all voluntary workouts to protest his contract which led to the Chargers informing him that they won’t be renewing his contract and will instead let him test free agency in 2016. Maybe not the way an offseason is supposed to be handled by a team that is looming at the end of a window to make a playoff run.
Maybe that is why San Diego is seemingly not trying at all to keep the team. Since the week 17 loss to the Chiefs, it seems as though the city of San Diego has been unwilling to keep a team that is aging and might be at the end of a somewhat successful decade. The bum deal that seems to have the Chargers moving up to Carson is what caps off 2015 as the offseason all Charger fans will want to forget forever. Even if the move doesn’t get done, it shows that there is enough strain between San Diego and its football team, to make fans believe that it is only a matter of time until our beloved Chargers are gone.
It has hardly been a good 6 months since the Chargers’ last game. The only people who had a worse offseason than the Chargers were the Lakers, and at least the city of LA still wants them there. And it seems like our boys in powder blue just might be joining them up the I5 after what has been the worst offseason in Chargers history.