The 2021 NFL season is an important campaign for the Los Angeles Chargers. After playing - and losing - several close games under Anthony Lynn in 2020, the team will be hoping that their offseason moves, which included hiring a new coaching staff, can take the Chargers to the next level.
Some of the key players on the roster are in the final year of their contracts, and and depending on what happens next season, a few won't be back with the Chargers in 2022.
Here are the most likely candidates to move on from the Chargers at the conclusion of the upcoming season.
Five current Los Angeles Chargers players who will be on the move in 2022
#1 - Mike Williams, WR
Mike Williams was picked in the top 10 to play alongside Keenan Allen, and despite some good seasons, he could never justify the Chargers' investment.
The team has picked up his fifth-year option, but it seems increasingly likely that he will land a long-term deal with another franchise after this season. He's a versatile receiver, but he just hasn't been the game-changer the Chargers hoped he would be.
#2 Jared Cook, TE
Veteran Jared Cook has delivered consistently over the past few years and will be very helpful to Justin Herbert in the passing game in 2021.
His experience will go a long way not only on the field but also in helping in the development of Tre McKitty. But despite his importance, the tight end shouldn't be an option for Los Angeles in the long run.
#3 Linval Joseph, DT
One of the most underrated players of recent years, the arrival of Linval Joseph helped stabilize the inside of the defensive line over the past year and ease the pressure on Jerry Tillery.
The problem is that Joseph is a free agent at the end of the upcoming season, and if the Chargers have to choose between Tillery or Joseph, age could be the deciding factor in keeping the former.
#4 Chris Harris, CB
A former Bronco, Harris joined the Chargers last year to play alongside Casey Hayward. While he did deliver some solid performances, he only played half the season due to injuries. He's not getting any younger, so it seems unlikely that he will extend his contract with the team.
#5 Uchenna Nwosu, EDGE
Nwosu surprised everyone with his solid performances last year. Although his statistics don't exactly show that, he was a key figure in the Chargers' defense all season long. He will be a free agent in 2022 and will have to perform well this season to earn a big contract next year.
However, it's highly unlikely that the Chargers will be the ones offering him a huge extension.