The Los Angeles Chargers franchise (still feels weird to type that) won nine games both 2013 and 2014. But in their final two seasons in San Diego, the team won just nine games combined.
The Chargers did a lot to improve the team this offseason, but it may not be enough to improve in the standings, as they are in the best division in the AFC.
Here are the three best moves and the worst one made by the Los Angeles Chargers this offseason.
#1. Improving the offensive line
The Chargers have a franchise quarterback in Philip Rivers. They have a good running back in Melvin Gordon. They have a pair of high-end receivers in Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates. The biggest problem has been the offensive line.
However, the Chargers did a lot of good things to improve the unit this offseason. They signed the second best left tackle on the market in Russell Okung and selected two NFL-ready guards in the second and third rounds of the draft in Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney. Okung has played a lot of good football in the NFL, but injuries have limited him to just one 16-game season his seven-year NFL career. Still, Okung is just 29-years-old (he turns 30 a few weeks into the season) and should be a cornerstone at left tackle.
Lamp should slide into the starting lineup at right guard, possibly right tackle, immediately. Some draft experts had Lamp as the most dominant collegiate offensive lineman in this year’s class. He has position flexibility to play anywhere on the line, but guard will likely be the best spot for him. Feeney has a feistiness and edge that could get him into the starting lineup right away. He will likely battle 2016 free agent signee Matt Slauson for the starting left guard job.
The team also drafted a developmental offensive tackle in the sixth round in Sam Tevi. The goal is for him to develop and learn from Okung before taking over as the left tackle. At worst, he should develop into a decent backup.
Rivers is going to have more time to make his throws and Gordon will have better running lanes this year with the offseason moves made by the Chargers.
#2. Re-signing Melvin Ingram
The Chargers do not have a plethora of pass rushers. Last year’s first round pick Joey Bosa is very good, but he is a defensive end in the their 3-4 scheme. Keeping Ingram was essential for the Chargers to get after the opposing quarterback.
The other outside linebackers on the team have a combined 14.5 career sacks: Ingram has 18.5 in the last two seasons by himself. Simply put, the Chargers do not have a pass rush without Ingram.
#3. Drafting Mike Williams
Williams is a big, physically dominant wide receiver that should jump right into the receiving group as the No. 2 guy. Allen and Travis Benjamin are very solid receivers as well, but Allen has played in just nine games over the last two seasons, including only one last year. Allen’s injury history and the lack of depth behind him makes Williams a very important part of the offense.
The worst: Moving out of San Diego
From a financial standpoint, it is probably for the best, but it's sad to see the Chargers in Los Angeles instead of their longtime home of San Diego. The way the team left was especially heartbreaking for their loyal fans.
The Chargers needed a new stadium and by sharing a new facility with the L.A. Rams, they found a better situation in Inglewood. While that stadium is being built, the Chargers will play in the StubHub Center in nearby Carson. It is a 30,000 seat soccer complex, which is about half the size of the average NFL stadium. In fact, there are 107 Division I programs that have larger stadiums than the StubHub Center. Their temporary home will provide and intimate environment for NFL football, but it will likely take a couple of years before the locals in L.A. warm to their second pro football franchise.