Los Angeles Chargers 2024: 2 Players They Need To Re-sign & 3 They Can Let Walk

The Chargers 2023 season has been heavily disappointing, with a 5-9 record, including an embarrassing blowout at the hands of the Raiders. If their season wasn’t over before, it for sure is now following the firing of Head Coach Brandon Staley and GM Tom Telesco.

If they want to improve in 2024, they need a roster full of players they can trust and players that can consistently contribute to the team, and they need to let the players that have hurt the team go. In the current 2023 roster, here are two impending free agents the Chargers need to prioritize keeping and three players they can let walk.

Crucial Player Decisions for the 2024 Los Angeles Chargers

KEEP: Alohi Gilman

Drafted in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Alohi Gilman has been a surprise for the team, proving to be a solid, starting-caliber safety. He has consistently been a presence in the back, creating turnovers or simply doing his job and preventing big plays alongside their superstar safety, Derwin James.

Gilman has been a fan favorite for the last three seasons as he’s sneakily become one of the most important pieces of The Charger’s defense, and at only 26, he has plenty of gas left in his tank for a future as the Chargers free safety.

Being a sixth-round pick and not having eye-opening stats may deter other teams from signing him and could in turn bring him back to the Chargers for another two or three years. He is a cheap option compared to players like Derwin James or Khalil Mack so despite the team’s cap issues, they can still afford him while he’s still in his prime.

LET WALK: Austin Ekeler

Austin Ekeler has been a staple of the team’s offense for over five years. As a touchdown machine, Ekeler has been the most exciting player to watch with the ball in his hands and as an undrafted free agent, he has inspired many and established that gritty, hardworking mentality into his run game.

Unfortunately, at 28, Ekeler is well past his prime and it shows. The Chargers have a historically bad rushing attack and with Ekeler being the main back, it is not a good look for a once heavily reliable offensive weapon. He lacks the explosion, the speed, and the vision he once used and the team just needs to completely start over in the running department.

Whether it’s his injuries or his lack of motivation, Ekeler has lost a step, and keeping him on would just continue to regress the rushing attack and in turn, the rest of the offense.

KEEP: Cameron Dicker

It may be a little weird to list a kicker as a priority but if you’ve seen this Charger team in the past four years, you know kicking has been a huge issue for the team. Since being signed off the Eagles practice squad in 2022, Cameron Dicker has been one of the most reliable kickers in the NFL and has proven his ability countless times.

With the Chargers needing consistency on offense and their kicker woes, Dicker needs to be the kicker for the Chargers as long as possible. He is also a fan favorite and can be a crucial piece in getting the fans excited about the upcoming season. He is also fairly cheap and would most likely be a fairly cheap long-term investment.

LET WALK: Michael Davis

Michael Davis has had a very interesting NFL career. He started his career at BYU as a receiver and transitioned into a cornerback where he was undrafted to the Chargers. As a combination of size and speed, he quickly became one of the best defenders on the Chargers and even earned a contract as one of the highest-paid corners in the NFL.

However, his last three years have been up and down, with 2023 being one of his worst career years. This comes as a disappointment following a spectacular 2022 season where he stepped up and became the best player on the defense and was the most consistent piece in the secondary.

2023 was a huge regression for Davis as he has been benched several times in the season and has accounted for several big plays and touchdowns. At 28, he is also well out of his prime and he is not worth another contract with the Chargers.

LET WALK: Kenneth Murray

Kenneth Murray was drafted in the first round of the 2020 draft and although he’s had a good 2023 season, he’s been an issue for almost four years at the linebacker position. Kenneth Murray is a great prototypical size for a linebacker and he’s a ferocious tackler, however, he lacks field vision and coverage skills. This has made for some big plays given up and has been proven to be a liability.

Opposing teams will target Murray due to his lack of coverage skills and they usually win, which is not a great sign for the rest of the defense. In 2023, he’s been more consistent but his flaws have proven to be too much and he is better off finding another home in 2023.

Conclusion

The 2024 offseason should be a busy one for the Chargers as they try to build a competitive team and once again find success and a shot at the Super Bowl. One of the best ways to do that is to evaluate the players you have on the roster and determine which ones are worth investing in and which ones are better off on other teams.

Main Image: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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