When the Detroit Lions used the franchise tag on Cliff Avril in 2012, the defensive end decided not to sign his tender until August so he could enjoy his son’s first birthday at home.
Avril missed eight days of training camp that year, and eventually left for the Seattle Seahawks in free agency the next spring.
The Lions used the tag last month for the first time since Avril, and while defensive end Ziggy Ansah has no immediate plans to sign his tender, his situation is not expected to approach Avril levels.
The talented and well-balanced Los Angeles Chargers have underachieved in each of the last two seasons, but they might be due for a breakout year.
The Bolts ranked in the top 12 on both sides of the ball in terms of DVOA in 2017, and they had the top points differential total in the AFC West. That should have resulted in 10 or 11 wins, according to Football Outsiders’ Pythagorean wins formula, but they settled for nine after an 0-4 start that included three losses that came by a combined seven points.
Quarterback Philip Rivers gets the lion’s share of the attention coming off another Pro Bowl season, but Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are only going to get better as an elite pass-rushing duo, the secondary is one of the best in football, the offensive backfield and receiving corps are jacked and an improving offensive line should be even better with second-year second-round pick Forrest Lamp healthy and veteran center Mike Pouncey joining the fray.