COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Chargers general manager Tom Telesco has made headway in accomplishing his top goal during the offseason — protecting Justin Herbert.
Los Angeles announced it has agreed to terms with offensive linemen Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler on Wednesday, which was the start of the NFL’s new league year.
The Chargers allowed 37 sacks last season, which was tied for 17th, but Herbert was under duress often. The Chargers allowed the fourth-most hurries and were one of nine teams that allowed 100 or more knockdowns.
Despite that, Herbert was the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and set a rookie record with 36 touchdowns (31 passing, five rushing).
While Telesco has done a good job with his first-round picks and finding skill position players on offense, he hasn’t had the same success constructing an offensive line. He is hoping to start reversing that trend.
It starts with Lindsey, who comes to LA after seven seasons with Green Bay. He becomes the league’s highest-paid center, with a five-year contract averaging $12.5 million per season. Linsley will be reunited with right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who signed with the Chargers last year but was hampered by injuries.
Feiler — who has agreed to a three-year deal — offers versatility with starts at right tackle and left guard over the past three years with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is likely to line up at left guard, where he started 13 games last season. The Steelers allowed only 70 regular-season sacks over the past three seasons, the fewest in the league.
Telesco and new head coach Brandon Staley still have holes at right guard and left tackle. Los Angeles has nine picks in April’s NFL draft, including the 13th selection in the first round.
The Chargers also have a need at tight end after Hunter Henry left for New England. Henry, who spent five seasons with the franchise, was one of Hebert’s favorite options last season with 60 receptions and four touchdowns.
More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL