Stephon Gilmore landing spot No. 1: Los Angeles Chargers
LA makes a ton of sense for several reasons, but the first may be the team’s $57 million in cap space (which ranks second in the NFL). The Bolts’ secondary did show promise in 2021, yielding a 63.9% completion rate and 3,761 total passing yards, which both ranked 12th overall in the league. But the group was middle of the pack in most other categories in pass D, according to Pro Football Reference.
The Chargers have pieces to work with in their defensive backfield, including at safety with Pro Bowler Derwin James and Nasir Adderley. Asante Samuel Jr. did show flashes at corner as well, but the CB position overall could use an upgrade.
Neither Samuel, Tevaughn Campbell, or Michael Davis finished with a PFF grade over 56.9, and they all had an average passer rating allowed of 96.6. Now LA did see Chris Harris Jr. post a solid 62.4 PFF grade, but the question is will he even be back with the Chargers, as the soon-to-be 33 year old enters free agency.
So Gilly could be a guy that comes in and helps out the secondary. Why not give James and Adderly viable help at CB, while also mentoring a young guy in Samuel?
Plus, a creative defensive mind like head coach Brandon Staley can find ways to deploy him. Just think about how successful he was as a defensive coordinator with Jalen Ramsey locking things down on the edges.
Now that #1 ranked Rams D was also led by Aaron Donald, but adding Gilmore could give Staley the #1 corner the LAC clearly lacked in 2021.