12 Chargers Who Won't Return Next Season

Jim Harbaugh is ushering in an era of change for the Chargers, and that will start with bidding farewell to plenty of familiar faces.

Oct 29, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30)
Oct 29, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
6 of 12
Next

6. Austin Johnson

I think it's safe to call the Austin Johnson signing a failed move in L.A.

The veteran defensive tackle was brought in ahead of the 2022 season, and even before his season was cut short by a Week 9 knee injury, he struggled. Then in 2023, when stayed healthy enough to play a full 17 games, he performed even worse.

You're not expecting big pass-rush contributions from a defensive tackle, but you are certainly expecting more than 0 sacks and 1 QB hit across 17 games.

And while you might be willing to accept poor pass-rushing from a top-end run defender, Johnson wasn't that either. He had just 2 TFLs across the 640 snaps he played in 2023, and PFF gave him a run defense grade of just 48.4.

Hitting free agency off of two straight poor seasons, the soon to be 30-year-old Johnson is not going to find a big market for his services, and the Chargers shouldn't be among the interested teams.