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    Chargers reportedly signing TE Hayden Hurst
    • March 14, 2024

    The Chargers continued to address their need for improved play from their tight ends by reportedly agreeing to a contract with free agent Hayden Hurst on Thursday, one day after officially signing former Seattle Seahawk Will Dissly.

    Hurst spent this past season with the Carolina Panthers.

    Neither tight end will make anyone forget the dynamic playmaking abilities of Antonio Gates, who set Chargers records for receiving between 2003 and 2018. But they might give the Chargers what they need in the form of improved blocking as they attempt to reignite their rushing attack.

    The Chargers moved on from tight end Gerald Everett, who signed with the Chicago Bears. Everett was a solid target for quarterback Justin Herbert, but his run-blocking was subpar and added to the Chargers’ lackluster ground game last season, when they ranked 27th in yards per carry.

    Hurst caught 18 passes for 184 yards and one touchdown in nine games, including eight starts, last season for the Panthers. He also has played with the Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens during his NFL career. The Ravens drafted him in the first round in 2018.

    Joe Hortiz, the Chargers’ new general manager, was with the Ravens when Hurst was drafted. Jim Harbaugh, the Chargers’ new coach, is the brother of Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh. Greg Roman, the Chargers’ new offensive coordinator, was the Ravens’ offensive coordinator while Hurst was in Baltimore.

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    Tight end, running back and defensive back were among the Chargers’ top priorities going into free agency, which began with the legal tampering period Monday and Tuesday and continued with the official signing period starting Wednesday. Tight end appears to be settled for now.

    The Chargers also replaced running back Austin Ekeler, who departed for the Washington Commanders in free agency, by agreeing to terms Wednesday with former Ravens running back Gus Edwards. They also re-signed safety Alohi Gilman, solidifying his pairing with safety Derwin James Jr.

    More to come on this story.

    ​ Orange County Register