The LA Chargers have been one of the most aggressive teams in the league this offseason after trading for Khalil Mack and signing J.C. Jackson to a five-year contract. Things have slowed down for the Chargers as the 2022 NFL Draft approaches but the mindset of going all-in on Justin Herbert’s rookie contract window is still relevant.
There have been no reports or rumors about the Chargers working out another big trade this offseason. However, Tom Telesco often works in silence and that does not mean that the Bolts are not potentially in on any of the big-name players who are currently on the trade block.
Perhaps the biggest player on the trade block is Deebo Samuel, who has been unable to come to terms on an extension with the San Francisco 49ers. Just like Tyreek Hill, there is a reality in which the 49ers end up trading Samuel for draft compensation; some think that the Chargers are a good natural fit for the All-Pro.
Randy Gurzi of NFL Spin Zone ranked the Chargers as the most logical trade destination for Deebo Samuel this offseason. Of course, this does not mean that the Bolts will undoubtedly trade for Deebo or are even interested, but when you consider the situation the Chargers are in, it is hard to refute that it would be logical for the Bolts to make this move.
The LA Chargers already traded a second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft for Khalil Mack and I would not rule out the Bolts trading their first-round pick as well. There is some speculation that the Bolts could look to add speed to the receiver room with the 17th pick and select someone such as Jameson Williams if he is available.
Instead of taking a college prospect with a torn ACL, the Chargers could use that pick for someone who they know is already an impact NFL player. With no second-round pick to trade, we the cost for Deebo would probably be something along the lines of the 17th pick, a second and third-round pick next year and a fourth-round pick this year.
Or the Chargers could get really bold and trade next year’s first for Samuel with the 17th pick. That is unlikely, but if the 49ers send back a second-round pick in 2022 then I would not completely rule it out.
A trade works from a financial standpoint. The Chargers still have around $7.3 million to spend in free agency when you factor in an in-season budget. If the Bolts trade the 17th pick, that adds $3 million in cap space, giving the team $13.3 million to spend this season if needed.
The Chargers can easily absorb Samuel and offer him an extension (they are not trading for him without extending him) where the cap hit is under that $13.3 million mark this season and increases in future years. Yes, they are on the books for other big contracts that they added this offseason but the salary cap is projected to significantly spike the next two years, which gives them room for someone like Samuel without having to sacrifice someone like Derwin James or a future Justin Herbert contract.
Samuel would fit the Chargers’ offense nicely as someone who could not only impact the passing game alongside Mike Williams and Keenan Allen but also give the Chargers value in the backfield as well. The Chargers are not going to pay Samuel all that money to get beat up between the tackles but with such a thin running back room, having Samuel as a weapon is enticing.
Deebo is still only 26 years old as well, so there should not be any concerns about aging. In fact, you could argue he has not even hit his peak. Look at someone like Davante Adams, who turned 29 during the season in 2021. Having Samuel get better and better will more than offset any regression from Keenan Allen in his later years.
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It certainly makes sense for the LA Chargers but it all depends on how comfortable the team is with the receiving corps and who they like in the 2022 NFL Draft. If the Bolts really want to go for it, they could easily talk themselves into a Deebo Samuel trade.