To say that the San Diego Chargers had a rough season last year is a bit of an understatement. Even though Philip Rivers had one of the best years of his career, it wasn’t enough to carry his team out of their worst season since 2003. The 4-12 season was a surprise to football fans everywhere, and the Chargers knew something had to change. Fans rejoiced when Joey Bosa’s name was announced during the first round of the NFL Draft. The Chargers drafted eight players in total; four offense and four defense. With this proportion in mind, it’s clear that the Chargers are trying to fix the problems they have on both sides of ball. And of course, a rebuilding means that while new players come in, old ones are forced out. Here are some players that are in danger of being cut:
Manti Te’o, LB
Manti Te’o came into the NFL with a lot on his shoulders. He had claimed that his girlfriend was dying of cancer, and when it came out that she was, in fact, not real, things got dicey for Te’o. He claimed that he was catfished, but some believed that he was just using the story for his own fame. Projected to be a first round pick, this news turned Te’o into a walking tabloid and any team that picked him would have to deal with a media circus for a couple of months. All of this being said, one thing was for sure: the kid could play. After dropping to the second round, the Chargers decided to pick him up. Big things were expected of him and… Well, he just hasn’t done much. In the three years he’s been playing, Te’o has only recorded 1.5 sacks and 2 interceptions. On top of that, he’s had trouble with injuries, and it’s his last year of his contract. With Joshua Perry – a player with a similar skillset – just being drafted, Te’o could be fighting for his job in the upcoming training camps.
Antonio Gates, TE
When the Chargers picked up an undrafted free agent from Kent State in 2003, they had no idea what was in store for them. Antonio Gates became one of the best tight ends to play the game of football, but that doesn’t make him immune from the reality of growing old in a game that stays young. Gates isn’t putting up number like he used to, and he’s coming off a knee injury from 2015. Even though he recently signed a 2 year contract with the Chargers, there’s still a chance he may not see daylight this season. Unfortunately for Gates, the Chargers drafted tight end Hunter Henry in the second round of the 2016 draft. Henry is expected to do big things in the Chargers offense, so even if Gates stays around, there will most likely be a significant drop in his playing time.
Brandon Flowers, CB
The story of Brandon Flowers is one that is unfortunately common in the NFL, especially at cornerback. The Virginia Tech graduate was once a player who let his skill do the talking for him. He was dropped by the Kansas City Chiefs after playing with them for six years. Flowers was picked up by the Chargers for the 2014 season, and he did fairly well for a while. During the 2014 season, Flowers recorded 3 tackles and 48 tackles. However, he started mouthing off about how he was the best corner in the NFL, and his performance dropped immensely. In the 11 games that Flowers played during the 2015 season, he only intercepted one pass. To add insult to injury, he was called by multiple news networks “the worst active cornerback in the NFL.” The fall from grace ultimately ended with an injury in Week 13 against the Broncos when Flowers injured his knee, putting him on injured reserve for the rest of the season. There are currently eight other cornerbacks on the roster, three of which were picked up after the draft, so Flowers’ future with the Chargers looks bleak.