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Chargers’ offensive line shifts as Trey Pipkins III stays, Matt Feiler goes

Chargers offensive tackle Trey Pipkins III and guard Zion Johnson (77) walk off the field.
Chargers offensive tackle Trey Pipkins III will be back on the right side of the line with guard Zion Johnson (77).
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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The Chargers agreed to terms Tuesday on a three-year contract with right tackle Trey Pipkins III.

The deal, which can’t be made official until the start of the NFL’s new league year at 1 p.m. PT Wednesday, was confirmed by a person with knowledge of the situation but not authorized to speak publicly.

Pipkins, who was an unrestricted free agent, remains with the Chargers after establishing himself as the team’s starter in 2022. His return prompted the Chargers to release veteran left guard Matt Feiler, that move opening $6.5 million in cap space.

Feiler likely will be replaced as a starter by Jamaree Salyer. A sixth-round pick a year ago, Salyer admirably filled in for Rashawn Slater, the Pro Bowl left tackle who missed most of last season because of a biceps tear.

Also Tuesday, the Chargers placed tender offers on kicker Cameron Dicker and offensive tackle Foster Sarell.

Frustrated with extension talks, Austin Ekeler’s agent gets permission from Chargers for the running back to explore trade options. Linebacker Eric Kendricks officially on board.

March 14, 2023

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Last season Dicker replaced Dustin Hopkins, who suffered a hamstring injury in Week 6. Dicker kicked the deciding field goal against Atlanta in his first game with the Chargers and went on to win the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month award for December/January. He made 21 of 22 field-goal attempts in the regular season and three of four in the Chargers’ playoff game.

Sarell was active in seven games last season, including three starts at right tackle when Pipkins was injured.

Along with his development, Pipkins earned praise from coaches and teammates last season for his perseverance as he played through a lingering knee sprain.

A third-round pick in 2019, Pipkins was drafted as a project out of small-school Sioux Falls. He played mostly on special teams and as an injury replacement in his first three seasons.

The Chargers head into NFL free agency and next month’s draft looking to build up several position areas that underperformed, at times, last season.

March 12, 2023

Pipkins and Storm Norton split snaps throughout most of training camp last year until Pipkins was named the No. 1 before the start of the regular season.

He then started 14 games and played 92% of the Chargers’ offensive snaps. Pipkins was ranked 64th overall among tackles by Pro Football Focus.

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The rest of the Chargers’ offensive line includes center Corey Linsley, right guard Zion Johnson and Slater.

Linsley is considered one of the NFL’s best at his position. Slater (in 2021) and Johnson (in 2022) were both first-round picks.

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