3 Reasons The Chargers Wont Trade Their Players


This 2010 offseason is likely to be one of the most eventful in recent San Diego Charger history. As the front office begins to formulate plans for fielding a championship-caliber team in 2010, fans are already submitting their ideas for consideration. Among those include trading away some big-name, yet under-performing players. But here are three reasons why the Chargers might not trade their guys away.

THE CHARGERS LOVE COMPENSATORY DRAFT PICKS

AJ Smith is intoxicated with the prospects of receiving compensatory draft picks, almost to a fault. Remember back in 2007 when the Titans were offering Smith a second round pick in exchange for restricted free agent Michael Turner? Smith wouldn't budge from his first and third round price so Turner would end up walking after the season, netting the Chargers only a fourth round compensatory pick.

AJ Smith simply doesn't trade his players away. He'd rather cut them or allow them to finish their contracts and hope the league awards them compensation down the road.

“People don't understand that, particularly locally, that we don't just let players go (without compensation),” says AJ Smith. “They're used to the traditional trades of draft picks and players. . . . (This) is what we call knowing how to utilize the unrestricted free agency and the league compensatory draft awards to our advantage.”

Unfortunately, the Chargers have slipped a bit when it comes to drafting impact players. For a while there, it seemed AJ Smith had the Midas touch, hitting big on high-round choices and undrafted free agents alike. The Chargers haven't drafted a Pro Bowl player since 2006. And while they've shown to be surprisingly active in free agency, they are always shopping with a limited budget.

THE CHARGERS EXPECT TO FIELD A HEALTHIER TEAM IN 2010

Health has been a major factor the past two seasons, so the Chargers could again be crossing their fingers that they'd suffer no major injuries. When healthy, Shawne Merriman and Jamal Williams are two of the best at their position and play significant roles on the defense. Merriman especially has something to prove, so the Chargers might be counting on him to play out of his mind in what is essentially a contract year. And as for Williams, he can still play at a high level and the Chargers would like to keep him around, even if it meant reducing his workload. Additionally, a healthy Nick Hardwick could prove to be a major boon to the team's run game success.

QUESTIONABLE DEPTH AT KEY POSITIONS

Unproven depth at Cornerback and Outside linebacker means Antoino Cromartie and Shawne Merriman will be back as starters. I don't think the team or the fans saw enough of Antoine Cason and Larry English to feel confident about those two starting on the base defense and would probably feel better about continuing to slowly work them in. And even if Cason did move into the starter's role, who would back him up? Who plays nickel? Who is the fourth cornerback? The Chargers lack depth at cornerback and instead rely on defensive backs who can move inside or play deep. Guys like Paul Oliver and Steven Gregory play hybrid positions but they are probably better suited at safety.

YOUR TAKE

Should the Chargers trade away their players for draft picks, or are they better off staying with what they have and adding some new players to the mix? Sound off in the comment section below with your offseaon plan.


February 4, 2010

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35 comments:

Adrian said... Feb 4, 2010, 9:44:00 PM

They need to fix that o line a bit i say give this group another shot, and give them some help in the lines. Great article man

twitter- chanpolok

Stephen said... Feb 4, 2010, 10:38:00 PM

With Jamaal willaims shoring up the run d splitting time with hopefully a first round dt we should go just as far if not further next year. Cmon Dallas 2011!

Anonymous said... Feb 4, 2010, 10:39:00 PM

alright well im goin to stick by my guy, LT, we need to keep him, trade darren sproles (he's at the top of his game right now, so he has a really high trade value, and we can all agree he is not big enough to be a primary back) ( you may have qustions on who is goin to return kicks and punt?) well; then we need to draft javier arenas like 4th or early 5th round another darren sproles "type" player, then that will allow us to pick up antoher solid running back 2nd or 3rd round, pick up an O-lineman 1st round, I like eric weddle a lot but i dont think he should be a starter, so we can draft a defensive back 3rd round, and then kevin ellison should be the other starter, English should be able to be more of an impact player this year, trade jaamal williams(coming off an injured season and he is getting older; but trading him now would be really good for salary cap room and who knows how many years he has at being the extremely high caliber nose guard he is) , and start vaughn martin (idk about you guys but i have faith in him) and since im saying we should get rid of darren sproles, we should now give the franchise tag to antonio gates no doubt. And finally sign joey porter, that would be beastly,

brad said... Feb 4, 2010, 10:47:00 PM

alright well im goin to stick by my guy, LT, we need to keep him, trade darren sproles (he's at the top of his game right now, so he has a really high trade value, and we can all agree he is not big enough to be a primary back) ( you may have qustions on who is goin to return kicks and punt?) well; then we need to draft javier arenas like 4th or early 5th round another darren sproles "type" player, then that will allow us to pick up antoher solid running back 2nd or 3rd round, pick up an O-lineman 1st round, I like eric weddle a lot but i dont think he should be a starter, so we can draft a defensive back 3rd round, and then kevin ellison should be the other starter, English should be able to be more of an impact player this year, trade jaamal williams(coming off an injured season and he is getting older; but trading him now would be really good for salary cap room and who knows how many years he has at being the extremely high caliber nose guard he is) , and start vaughn martin (idk about you guys but i have faith in him) and since im saying we should get rid of darren sproles, we should now give the franchise tag to antonio gates no doubt. And finally sign joey porter, that would be beastly,

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 2:57:00 AM

Wow i love merriman just like the next charger fan but his season this year wasnt the best(yes i know he had a knee surgery)and ever since he was caught jucing he hasnt been the same and his body is falling apart. and if Aj smith sticks to his track record (i.e. Jr Seau,Rodney Harrison) he will get rid of Merriman and LT and we will prob get rid of someone else that is a huge part of the team. Porter would be Awesome in the Powder Blue..his intensity is nasty and everyone knows it...who cares how old he is how old was Seau and Harrison and where did they go "Pats" Bill Belicheat is the master at signing the vets and getting to the playoffs and superbowl's. Mark my words Merriman and LT will be gone...Just like Rice leaving the 49ers and Emmit leaving the cowboys, LT is leaving the chargers as sad as it is its happening...AJ Smith is the man at signing guys but a complete dousche when it comes to keeping them..I love Rivers and he has become one of the best QB's in the League but the Qb before him is going to be playing against the colts this sunday..good job AJ yet another player we had that is going to the superbowl...LT should be a charger until he retires but Aj smith is the master at getting rid of the players that should not leave. AND TO WHOEVER SAID SPROLES ISNT BIG ENOUGH TO BE A EVERY DOWN BACK YOUR LAME...THREE LETTERS FOR YOU "MJD"...THE JAGS LOVE HIM...

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 3:09:00 AM

BRAD YOUR LAME..DONT EVER BECOME A GENERAL MANAGER...Why would you take an OT in the 1st Round when were losing LT..LT even said on espn that he does not see himself coming back, and told his agent to call them and expedite the process because he truly believes AJ smith wont keep him. Sproles could be a primary back but we def need a new running back becasue i dont see Sproles taking another franchise tag. He either gets a contract or picked up by another team. And 2010 season is prob going to be the last...2011 lockout is almost set in stone...enjoy the 2010 season while you can...

smokkee said... Feb 5, 2010, 4:41:00 AM

IMO Cason should be ready to step up if the Chargers are willing to deal Cromartie. Cason may not be as good a cover man but at least he's not a afraid to make a tackle.

kick rocks Cro'

Brad said... Feb 5, 2010, 8:49:00 AM

Alright first off, let's chill out on the great comebacks, calling me lame, seriously? dude im a chargers fan just like you, and FYI we are projected to take an O-lineman in a lot of mock drafts first round; we were second to last in rushing this year, so even if LT leaves we still need to upgrade our running game. You really think Sproles can be a primary running back?? I would like to see how many people agree with you that know football, and whoever said "Three letters, MJD, the jags love him or whatever" first off he weighs 20 more lbs than sproles and is a much more accomplished running back, that comment makes no sense..

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 9:48:00 AM

The Chargers can't afford to trade Cromartie, even with all his headaches(blown coverage, giving up on plays, off field nonsense..)there's no one to step in to fill that spot. Cason is a great nickel corner right now and if he works on his reads he could be great but he's a project a lot like Jammer was in his first couple seasons. It doesn't make sense to trade Merriman in a contract year, he has to play his ass off and look good for anyone willing to pay in after the season. If he has another bad year and the money is going to be paid anyway, if he has a killer season that the team benefits and then we can decide if we want to keep him...and we probably won't. I think the only player that makes sense to trade is Floyd, and it'd have to be for the right compensation. With VJ and Gates as the first two threat, Floyd is expendable to our team and if someone like the ravens or browns is willing to give up multiple picks and players for a real #1, i don't know if we could pass it up. Oh, and about the draft, our O-line does need some beefing up, won't matter if we draft the next LT this year is our line can't run block. If we draft an OT, chances are we grab a player who can play well into his 30's and block for whatever RB we draft in those years... AJ WILL NOT DRAFT A RB IN THE FIRST ROUND! they're too risky and they don't fit too well in our offense... We're best suited for a 2nd or 3rd round RB who will share carries with whatever back we pick up in free agency.

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 10:02:00 AM

we should have let LT go a couple seasons back instead of letting Michael Turner walk... AJ was right, he wanted LT gone and Spanos went over the top and kept him. LT simply doesn't fit with the team anymore, in any way. we should trade Floyd, and use the compensation to draft NT, OL, RB and OLB... Williams is too old, we need a real right tackle, we need a young back to share carries and we'll need to replace Phillips soon. I wouldn't be surprised if AJ went for another OLB in the first just because at our spot there's more value there... and if he can somehow squeeze Ryan Mathews into the mix we'll be fine.

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 11:42:00 AM

Brad, you're stupid. Gates isn't a free agent, and thus, can't be franchised. The franchise tag is stupid anyways.

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 11:48:00 AM

After the year AJ has finding players to fill the injury holes, he STILL gets blasted by the know-nothings!! Absolutely incredible. Well, I guess that's why he is keeping the job and everybody else just complains about how he does it.
Trading Floyd? Stupid. And nobody is going to give up a 2 for him, much less a 1. Gimmee a break.
Merriman, considering AJ's trend of jettisoning quetionable injureds, he's my bet for the one to go. He may come back to form, he may not. I'm not sure AJ takes that gamble, I'm not sure I would either if anyone is willing to give something up for him.
My pref for the draft/free agency/trades? I'd like to see a DL that can rush the passer. A RT for the o-line. And a RB to take LT's place because he's done and gone. Love the guy, but anybody who says he still has legs is dreaming. The burst that used to shoot him thru those small holes into the def backfield is gone. A cover corner would be nice because I see Jammer at safety soon.

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 12:09:00 PM

Most mock drafts ive seen have put SD going with a runnig back...chances of that happening prob 50/50 chance. didnt we get a RT last year with Vasquez who got hurt and Dombrowski played almost every position on the O-line this year...pretty sure he has earned a starting spot..And as far as AJ Smith is concerned, i love his ability to find talent not knocking that at all...but its his uncanning ability to get rid of people that have good football left is amazing (Seau,Rodney Harrison)..keeping LT over M Turner was a good decision. Turner will never put up the career numbers that LT has and LT was the face of the franchise like Emitt was to the cowboys and Rice to the Niners.

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 12:13:00 PM

When we got rid of Lorenzo Neal thats when LT's numbers started to go down i miss Lorenzo...he knew how to make holes

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 12:23:00 PM

if we had sproles and pick up Toby Gerhardt that would be a nasty combo...thoughts?

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 1:26:00 PM

i think trading floyd is a good idea. The browns stock piled picks last season so they could sway AJ for his love of the draft... Cam Cameron, the former OC(offensive coordinator) of the chargers is now with the ravens, he knows Floyd, Floyd knows the offense and he'd be the missing component they need now, Mason is too old and if he doesn't come back they'll lose the biggest part of their passing game... they won't have the time to develop revceivers and they don't have anyone groomed to step in now so a guy like floyd makes sense. He's under the radar so they could get him for cheap unlike Marshall or Owens and he's coming into his prime so it's perfect timing.... Kinda like the Giants getting Plaxico from the steelers, but with less drama and money.

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 1:35:00 PM

You all are out of your mind if you think that darren sproles can be a primary back, a primary back will pick up the 4th and 1 for you to close out a game, take a look at the end of the ravens game...point made. Brad is right, regardless of loosing LT you still need an offensive lineman cause regardless of LT leaving there will still be a running game and you still need to protect your $92 million dollar guy.

Jack Rowell said... Feb 5, 2010, 3:18:00 PM

Well, we can't trade Jamal Williams. He's better than his trade value. Test the waters with Merriman, but it will probably be the same scenario. Samething goes with Sproles. Wouldn't be able to get enough to cover his worth. The only players we could get anything worthwhile for (unfortunately) would be one of the big corners or one of the very talented wideouts. The only way I'd trade one of them is if we got a first or high second rounder or an all-pro calibre o line or running back.

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 7:53:00 PM

I say keep L.T. just like they did with Fouts.Let him decide when he can't play anymore! Without L.T. the Chargers fan would have had alot more losing seasons,less Division Titles. But A.J. is an hard nose, he doesn't let his feelings make his decision. He wants to keep his job.Trade Cromatie! We can't afford any more missed or broken tackles. Plus Jammer is getting older,we need to start planning on replaceing him in a few years. Trade Merriamem after this year, regardless of his production. I feel he will end up like Foley. Don't trade Floyd,trade Buster Davis. Davis hasn't done anything! He is a big bust. Draft an DT/DE to help J.Williams. Than a OT to take over the opposite side of McNeil.Than a RB. Followed by OLB,CB,SS.BUT GET A NEW O-LINE COACH!!!!!!

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 9:32:00 PM

I'm happy with drafting a DT, an RT, an LE, an RB, a WR, a CB and an MLB in rounds 1-7 order.

Anonymous said... Feb 5, 2010, 10:03:00 PM

The key here is the fact that Merriman will be a restricted free agent -- we can sign him cheap or get draft picks if someone over bids us. This is the same for Floyd and Jackson -- both to be Restricted free agents de to uncapped years. The problem with Sproles is that even though he will be Restricted he would have to get a 10% raise from his already high franchise salary in 2009. We either have to work out a long term deal, franchise him, or trade him. We could franchise him and them trade him like the Patriots did with Matt Cassel but that could be a pretty big gamble if another team is unwilling to trade for him with that big salary.

Bolts are in a good place for 2010 but could be in a rebuilding mode for 2011.

Anonymous said... Feb 6, 2010, 3:20:00 AM

Hell, trade 'em all 'cept Rivers (who you already inked for $92 million anyway). Then sit around and twiddle our collective thumbs while they ALL walk out in a labor strike next year. It's o-v-e-r already says the head of the player's union. Wow! We'll have another year of watching Merriman doing very little and Cromartie avoiding all male physical contact. Save those old L.T. highlight films, we'll need them...
And if the economy continues to spin around the bowl, none of this will matter much to most of us by this time next year. God, I hope I'm wrong.
Go BOLTS!

Anonymous said... Feb 6, 2010, 8:25:00 AM

We just need to improve the right tackle position - how often do we run to that side? We are to predictable in the running game. It seemed to me that defenses knew where we were running the ball to many many times. Vaughn Martin can contribute but he won't be ready to start for another two seasons. We can keep J. Williams for another season, let him play part time, and let him coach the new defensive lineman and show them how to play great! This year is weak in running backs that can play every down except for the Georgia Tech running back, Jonathan Dwyer, but he is also to slow so what are we going to do about the running back position? Keep everyone - we made it to the Divisional round of the playoffs the last two years and a conference championship game three years ago so we don't need to make big changes!! We also need leaders including from the coaching staff!

Jack Rowell said... Feb 6, 2010, 10:34:00 AM

Love LT. Check his stats & you'll have to put him in the top 5 of all time running backs. More touchdowns than most, great reciever, threw 7 tds and had way less fumbles than anyone with that many carries. That being said, he has to go. Unless he agrees to restructure the $2M owed to him and restructure his playing time, he has to go. Thsi is not a league of what you used to do. It's not even a league of "what have you done for me lately". it's a leagues of what can you do for me right NOW. I don't think an improved line would do it. Rivers had a great year. Part of the reason the Jets beat us is the safety did not have to respect the run. The Chargers would do good by getting a running back than can get a tough 3 yards, who can block and who can hit the hole. Sorry.

Anonymous said... Feb 6, 2010, 1:38:00 PM

Ditto on LT. He is a little whiney recently but that comes from his heart. He says that there were problems in the locker room and that is on him as a leader of the team. He alludes to the fact it was addressed in the locker room but obviously it wasnt nipped in the bud. All that said LT was an exceptional Charger, an even more exceptional person, and someone who was wonderful to the community. The only way he stays is if he agrees to reduced roll and pay. He has already made up his mind on that and "broken up" with the Chargers. He has every right to do so. He has already given everything to the Bolts. I wish him well and thank him for all he was in San Diego. We may never have another player like him.

Anonymous said... Feb 6, 2010, 4:48:00 PM

L.T. is not whiney. People forget football is a emotional game. Players are taught from pop warner days that a team is a family. The people incharge of the team, massage your ego to get you perform at a high level. I remember day I saw my ex high school coach. This was the man switched me from DT position I played on the #1 ranked county team as a junior to play center in my Senior year. Using me to block for one of the best running backs in S.D.County at the time. He made me see that the team needs come first, than one's person agenda. And I believed him,and played my heart out. That RB won the County rushing title, and went to a west cost college powerhose. 15 years later I saw that Coach, he apoligized to me saying he can't remember me. I know it hurted me. So can you imagine how L.T. feels? The reason he sounded off is for frustration of losing that playoff game, and not going to the Superbowl. But pretty sure Harrison,Seau,Turner.and best buddy Drew Brees gave him advice plus encouragement to accept it and move. There are playoff teams that need a 3 solid running backs for their RB rotation. Giving him the chance to get more yardage & touchdowns to move him up the all time RB record lists. What happen to Lance Alworth,Jack Kemp ,Fred Dean,Gary Johnson,Louie Keltcher,Junior Seau.Rodney Harrison,Drew Brees,Ben Leber, Igor. All these players left the Chargers to play for winning teams in the playoffs & most particpate in the SuperBowl. 6 of them getting Superbowl Rings. I can't remember if Ernie Ladd while playing for the Chiefs went that year to Superbowl in the mid 60's. Fouts was the only one to get the respect of Management that allowed to retire as a Charger. I feel L.T. demands the same respect! What Fouts did for the passing game here in S.D. L.T. did the same for the running game here in S.D. We never had a running game that ran up so many yards or touchdowns. Not even Paul Lowe or Keith Lincoln combine could do that. No disrespect, but that's I feel. If I recall The Padres compensated Winfield to enter the Hall of Fame with the Padre uniform. He had the choice between Padres or Yankees. Hope L.T. goes in wearing the Chargers colors.

arnie said... Feb 7, 2010, 7:29:00 PM

“People don't understand that, particularly locally, that we don't just let players go (without compensation),” says AJ Smith....

a second round pick offered from titans, for a fith round RB(Michael Turner), isn't compensation?

“They're used to the traditional trades of draft picks and players. . . . (This) is what we call knowing how to utilize the unrestricted free agency and the league compensatory draft awards to our advantage.”

The saints know how to utalize the free agent market to thier advantage too. and i think they're better at. and they now have a world championship to prove it. BTW didn't they win with our former "washed up" QB? and now they have the 3 round LB, on thier roster, that we got as a compinsation pick, for letting said QB walk?

yeah we don't understnad a thing...

peace out

Anonymous said... Feb 7, 2010, 8:16:00 PM

At the time it felt right, from the heart to let Brees hit the free agent market. In hind sight the Patriots showed us the better play with Cassel. Patriots got a 1st round pick same year whereas chargers got a late 3rd round pick the following year.

Hind sight is 20/20!!!

Anonymous said... Feb 7, 2010, 10:43:00 PM

While lets get back to the debate, which running back the Chargers should draft? I vote for Jonathan Dwyer Georgia Tech. Here are my reasons: (1) 6' tall 230 ibs. (2)Runs the 40 yd. in 4.41 sec.(3) Can catch the ball (4)North to South runner (5)Likes to run over people. (6) Leaving College as a Jr. ( 1 year of playing more before he loses a step) That is my arguement for Dwyer. GO CHARGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said... Feb 9, 2010, 9:28:00 AM

What short memories we have! Aside from a compensatory pick for the Burner, we got his services for the 2007 AFC championship game. LT won his second (afc) rushing title that year, too. What choice did AJ have? And I love LoNeal as much as anyone, but he was slowing our backs down and hitting his blocks late. Don't forget those brick hands, either. I don't see how we can keep LT. I think he's still hurt, because the way he basically fell down after first contact all season was depressing and out of character even for an older back.

Anonymous said... Feb 9, 2010, 9:49:00 AM

Oh, and ask Tony Dungy if he thinks Sproles is an every down back. I bet he'd say yes.

Jack Rowell said... Feb 9, 2010, 10:18:00 AM

Sproles can not be an every daown back. Can he pick up the blitz? No. Can he get the 1st down on 3rd & 1? No. Who is going to believe that he is blocking on a draw play? No one. He's great as he is. A specialist and a return man.

Shane said... Feb 12, 2010, 3:59:00 PM

1st - DT (Dan Williams)
2nd - RB (Ryan Matthews, Ben Tate)
3rd - RT or CB (Best available player)

Anonymous said... Feb 14, 2010, 5:56:00 PM

1st round: DE
2nd round: RB (matthews will be gone not sure who will be there)
3rd round: OL
4th round: CB
6th round: OL
7th round: LB

Hate to say it but LT-Gone (his productivity dropped 2 years ago). Sproles-Gone. Deal Cromartie (he watched shone Greene run right by him for the 51 yd TD). we need football players not one hit wonders. Aj you better draft Matthews, some DL and some OL to put on the right side. Hardwick cant run block hes too small. Vasquez is legit. and we need a right tackle. Just an average running game would take us to a Bowl game. We had no running game this year! Talk about frusterating. Rivers cant win them all for the team. People get so caught up with Big Names and dont relieze that this is a young mans game. AJ wheel and deal bud or your gonna be gone too. this years draft is HUGE. I'm tired of being just good enough. San Diego fans deserve a Championship. For gosh sakes were in the weakest Division in football so playoffs is a given. Nothing like going 13-3 and getting 1st round bye and taking a crap against a mediocre Jets team with a Rookie QB. Ok now this will conclude my post , My blood is starting to boil.

-ManiCanToo

Anonymous said... Feb 18, 2010, 3:05:00 PM

Rob , If you say is correct (that the Chargers don't trade players) than even AJ has to review his own policy. Look what happen to Mike Turner. A 4th round compensatory pick instead of a regular 2nd round pick. Man that was a rip off and a half for a talent like Turner. We can only sign 1 free agent right. The only way we can get imediate help & get rid of players for what ever reason is tru trading! You know there are young players out there we can trade for! Will AJ please wake up! See what happen to L.T., got to old while waitng for help thru draft picks to mature or bust. We picked more CB & S that busted than made it. I hope Rivers doesn't end up like Hadl, great offense no defense.

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