The contract dispute between the San Diego Chargers and Joey Bosa continues with no end in sight. The Chargers now believe their first-round pick will not play a full 16-game slate in 2016.
San Diego has a history of contract holdouts — Philip Rivers famously didn’t sign his rookie contract until deep into training camp. However, it’s exceedingly rare for a team to issue a statement as forceful as the Chargers’ release on Wednesday.
The Chargers have lost four games by a combined 14 points this season, making them just the fifth team since 1940 to start 1-4 with a point differential of 10-plus or better. Their ability to score points is no fluke, as San Diego has ripped through secondaries with a highly frisky air attack. Despite losing weapons Keenan Allen, Stevie Johnson and cheap nfl jerseys and Danny Woodhead, the Bolts are one of just two NFL teams averaging 30-plus points per game. The Falcons — who knocked off the Broncos last week — are the other, but these are vastly different attacks. While Atlanta piled up yardage and points by matching their speedy, pass-catching backs against Denver’s inside linebackers, the Chargers don’t have the bodies to duplicate that game plan. San Diego’s offense is based around occasional big plays from boom-or-bust runner Melvin Gordon and a vertical passing game that has leaned heavily on three-wideout sets all year. That won’t change on Thursday night.
The Broncos hoped to run the ball early against Atlanta, but the game script took them elsewhere with C.J. Anderson and rookie Devontae Booker combining for just 64 yards. Ground yardage won’t be easy against a Chargers defense allowing an eighth-best 83.4 yards per game without a single team topping the 100-yard rushing mark through Week 5. That should lead to Siemian picking away at San Diego’s 28th-ranked pass defense with lobs to Emmanuel Sanders (who leads the team in targets and receptions) and Demaryius Thomas, who has a touchdown catch in three straight games for the first time since 2014.
The decision to move ends the Chargers’ 56-year stint in San Diego, but it’s not the first time the team has played in L.A. During their inaugural season in 1960, the then-American Football League franchise played in Los Angeles before moving south.
As it stands, the Los Angeles market will play host to two NFL teams in 2017 for the first time since 1994, when the Raiders and Rams left for Oakland and St. Louis, respectively. The Rams returned to L.A. last January.
This is a sweet, sentimental statement from a franchise quarterback and de facto community leader wistfully paying homage to the city he loved, respected and prepared to live in and raise his family, regardless of a move up the coast.
But while the stats Rivers racked up during 2016 were done so in San Diego, for branding continuity on Sunday in Orlando, the QB will be introduced as a member of the most recent rendition of the team that pays him — the Los Angeles Chargers.
Rivers added: “It has been very special to be a San Diego Charger. And I hope that you can always see me as that.”
The Chargers’ quarterback said he considered the possible move to Los Angeles when signing his contract extension in 2015. After 13 years in San Diego, Rivers likely won’t find the same connection in L.A., but he’ll still fight to earn that elusive championship.
Many fans swore they would not follow the team elsewhere. Terry Montello said her group will pick a new team to follow if the Chargers leave. There was plenty of anger at ownership throughout the stadium for possibly ending these Sunday habits for good.
Finding out the Chargers might leave was like “Finding out Santa Claus didn’t exist,” according to Sally Morgan, a season-ticket holder since 1994 who moved to San Diego from South Dakota. Many residents feared what would become of their town.