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.
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.
Labels: NFL Offseason 2010
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