5 Low-Cost Free Agents the Chargers Must Target

The Chargers are looking to add impact free agents on a budget, and that makes these five players the perfect targets.

Feb 1, 2024; Inglewood, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh speaks at an introductory
Feb 1, 2024; Inglewood, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh speaks at an introductory / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Steven Nelson, Cornerback

Cornerback is arguably the Chargers' biggest need at this point. Asante Samuel Jr. is great, for sure, but he can't do it all himself. And no other cornerback on the roster managed even a 60.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2023. And you're not going to find many Chargers fans who thought it felt like anything different when watching the games last season.

Cornerback can also be a brutal position to address in free agency. You often see the majority of the teams in the NFL at least considering it a minor need, with no shortage of teams looking for a starter. That means contracts can get pretty crazy.

But Steven Nelson is a starting-caliber corner who seems to be flying under the radar. There's been almost no buzz floating around about the former Houston Texan, who has made just a combined $12 million over three seasons on his last two contracts.

A nine-year vet, that's an absolute bargain for Nelson.

He's started 15-plus games in each of the last six seasons, and at 31 years old it's also not like he's imminently staring down retirement. In fact, he's been playing some of his best football lately. After holding opposing quarterbacks to just 5.9 yards per target when he was thrown at in 2022 (per Pro-Football-Reference), PFF gave him a 71.9 overall grade in 2023. That was the third-highest mark of his career.

So we have a veteran starting cornerback still in his prime and consistently available on low-cost contracts? That should make him a no-brainer addition for the Chargers.