The Los Angeles Chargers might be cursed. Four times since 2010, including last year, the Chargers had a winning record but missed the playoffs.
Justin Herbert and friends would like to put a stop to that. They acquired Khalil Mack and signed cornerback J.C. Jackson to prepare for the AFC West, a division so loaded it’s hard to identify the favorite.
Training camp location: Costa Mesa, Calif.
Jack Hammett Sports Complex
Rookie report date: July 19
Veteran report date: July 26
Key acquisitions: TE Gerald Everett, CB JC Jackson, OG Zion Johnson, DT Sebastian Joseph, LB Khalil Mack, LB Kyle Van Noy, RB Isaiah Spiller
Key losses: TE Jared Cook, DT Linval Joseph, CB Chris Harris, OG Michael Schofield
Cornerback J.C. Jackson might not get national fanfare, but at 26 he was one of the top players available in free agency. Defense was a sweet spot for the Chargers in the open market, scoring DT Sebastian Joseph and trading for OLB Khalil Mack.
GM Tom Telesco also won with a series of under-the-radar moves, including nickel CB Bryce Callahan (one-year deal) and 35-year-old backup QB Chase Daniel.
Rookies could play a key role on offense with right guard Zion Johnson already on the first unit and talented RB Isaiah Spiller providing a complement to Austin Ekeler.
The pairing of Mack and Joey Bosa in front of a spearhunting group in the secondary could have Brandon Staley’s team set up to make a major move in the AFC West.
–WEEK 1 IN FOCUS:
Raiders at Chargers, 4:25 p.m. ET
Line: Chargers -4 (FanDuel)
Total: 51.5 points
The Chargers will aim for revenge after losing the regular-season finale to the Raiders when a win would have punched their playoff ticket. Mack gets to face the team that drafted him, then traded him in 2018 rather than sign him to a megadeal.
–BIG BOY BOSA
Knowing it should be the best division in the league this year, DraftKings is offering several props exclusive to the AFC West, including who will lead the division in sacks. Joey Bosa (+200) has the shortest odds on the board, but the wager remains enticing enough to give a whirl on a guy who’s averaged nearly three-quarters of a sack per game for his career and gaining a serious sidekick in Khalil Mack.
–Field Level Media