How Jim Harbaugh and Joe Hortiz can transform the Los Angeles Chargers

With Brandon Staley and former GM Tom Telesco out the door, a new tandem looks to ignite Chargers nation.
Los Angeles Chargers Introduce Jim Harbaugh as Head Coach
Los Angeles Chargers Introduce Jim Harbaugh as Head Coach / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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2. Maneuvering Salary Cap/Free Agency

This one is going to be a doozy for the Chargers front office. LA is currently $45.8 million dollars over the cap, with $24.5 million in dead money.

It's going to be quite the process to fix their financial situation, in turn intensifying the challenge of making a big splash in the free agent market. This makes acing this years draft that much more important. With Ekeler and Everett headlining the team's free agent list, the Chargers will have to work on restructuring other contracts if they want to make any sort of noise in free agency.

Luckily for them, the market is deep this offseason. If Everett signs elsewhere and the Chargers don't go with Bowers at pick five, there are guys like Austin Hooper and Mike Gesicki who are available for cheap. While they aren't "game changing" players, they can serve as formidable replacements while LA sorts out their finances. Furthermore, if Ekeler does elect to walk, the hit of his absence wouldn't be as detrimental as some may think.

Sure, he's an elite pass-catching back who provides a reliable safety valve for Justin Herbert. However, his numbers on the ground aren't elite by any means. In fact, they're quite average, if that. Ekeler has yet to have a 1,000 yard rushing season in his career. While some of that can be attributed to the Chargers pass-first west coast offense, it can't be ignored. Ekeler averaged a measly 3.5 yards per carry, ranking 44th amongst all running backs. Considering LA's financial woes, the depth of the free agent market, as well as Ekeler approaching, if not already past, the end of his prime, it would be wise of the Chargers to let another team pay him and look elsewhere.