Chargers sign former Raiders 1st-rounder

The Los Angeles Chargers made a roster move Wednesday when they signed former Las Vegas Raiders first-round pick Alex Leatherwood. Leatherwood was selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft and has spent time with the Raiders, Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears. Leatherwood spent his college years with the Alabama football team and now plays for the Chargers.

“The Los Angeles Chargers today signed tackle Alex Leatherwood,” read a brief statement from the Chargers. “Leatherwood has started 17 of 21 career games played with the Raiders and Bears, while also spending time with the Cleveland Browns. A first-round selection in the 2021 Las Vegas NFL Draft, Leatherwood started all 17 regular season games for the Raiders as a rookie (four at right tackle, 13 at right guard), helping the team to a postseason appearance . He started at right guard for the team’s AFC Wild Card game against Cincinnati.

In college, Leatherwood was a star for the Crimson Tide. He was a first-team All-American and also a first-team SEC player. His offensive line at Alabama also won the Joe Moore Award for the best offensive line in college football. Leatherwood also won the Outland Trophy, given to the best interior lineman in college football.

That Alabama offensive line with Leatherwood was incredible in 2020 as the team allowed just 11 sacks and went on to win the national championship. Now Leatherwood is in the pros and he will play for Jim Harbaugh and the Chargers.

A new era is dawning for the Chargers

Las Vegas Raiders offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood (70) against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
© Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh and Alex Leatherwood have one cool thing in common: They’ve both won a national championship. Harbaugh was head coach of the Michigan football team last year and led the Wolverines to a national title. He even defeated Leatherwood’s Alma Mater, Alabama, in the College Football Playoff. Leatherwood was coached by Nick Saban while with the Crimson Tide, and Saban retired after that loss to Harbaugh and Michigan.

Before Jim Harbaugh was head coach at Michigan, he was head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. He reached the Super Bowl one season, but never managed to win the big one. Now he’s back in the NFL and pursuing his goal of winning a Super Bowl ring.

The Chargers didn’t have a great season last year, but with Harbaugh in charge, there is new hope in Los Angeles. Harbaugh was successful at every step of his career, regardless of the situation before he took over. It would be surprising if the Charges didn’t have success with him as head coach.

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