COSTA MESA — Cornerback Bryce Callahan had to wait longer after Chargers coach Brandon Staley called him to express interest two weeks after free agency opened.
“We’re going to try to work something out,” Callahan recalled Monday about his conversation with Staley. “I was excited. Familiar face, same kind of defense I’ve been in my whole career, so I knew if I came here, I would be comfortable getting in (and) hitting the ground rolling.”
Once the Chargers passed on taking a cornerback early in the 2022 draft, Callahan’s reunion with Staley came to fruition, as the two sides agreed to a one-year, $1.27 million contract a week after the draft.
“It’s rough,” Callahan said about the wait. “You see your friends get signed and all that, but my agent, everybody close to me said, ‘Be patient. It’ll happen.’”
With the Chargers having the option of signing Callahan, that allowed the team to focus on other positional needs in the draft. Callahan, 30, also wants to give the Chargers flexibility on the field as a versatile cornerback who can play inside and outside.
Staley is familiar with Callahan because he was a position coach when Callahan played for the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos. Staley and Callahan followed Vic Fangio to Denver in 2019 when Fangio left his job as the Bears’ defensive coordinator to become the head coach of the Broncos.
Many of the Chargers’ defensive players struggled to…