The Los Angeles Chargers are coming off a season in which they went 7-9. They didn’t make the playoffs, but the team showed the potential of becoming great. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert proved his worth with a monumental season.
Herbert brought home the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award while breaking multiple records. The Chargers used the offseason to build around their franchise quarterback and are ready to compete. They are now a trade or two away from being true contenders.
Here are 3 potential trade candidates for the Chargers entering the 2021 training camp.
Chargers trade candidates:
3. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard
The Chargers need to add another pass-catcher if they want to contend. Sterling Shepard’s time with the New York Giants seems to be nearing the end after their offseason moves. They drafted Kadarius Toney in the first round and signed star receiver Kenny Golladay. The Giants also have an up-and-coming wide-out in Darius Slayton, leaving no room for Shepard on the roster.
This move wouldn’t cost too much for the Chargers and would give them a legitimate third option. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are the outside receivers, while Shepard would be the slot guy.
A trade for Shepard would be a great addition to the Chargers.
2. Linebacker Jordan Hicks
Jordan Hicks is a great tackler and is a very underrated player. He had 2 good seasons with the Arizona Cardinals but looks to be on the move. The Cardinals drafted linebacker Zaven Collins in the first round, which takes away the role Hicks had.
A trade for Hicks makes a ton of sense for the Chargers. They have Kenneth Murray Jr. but could use a linebacker alongside him. Hicks would be a perfect fit and would elevate the defense with his tackling ability. He is a great all-around linebacker that could help lead the defense.
1. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore
The most ideal trade candidate in the NFL right now, for the Chargers and many other teams, is Stephon Gilmore. He has been in trade rumors for a while now but hasn’t been moved. The Patriots have a ton of cornerback talent and don’t want to pay Gilmore the contract he wants.
A trade to the Chargers would make a ton of sense.
The Chargers have a ton of cap space and could afford to pay Gilmore a big contract. They have a solid secondary that would become elite with the addition of Gilmore. He is one of the best corners in the league, with the ability to lock down opposing teams’ number one receivers.
Gilmore would pair nicely with Chris Harris Jr. and second-round draft pick Asante Samuel Jr. If the Chargers can pull off this trade, their defense could become among the best in the NFL.
Chargers 2021 season preview
The Chargers are headed in a great direction after a fantastic offseason. They have killed the last couple of drafts and free agencies, which has brought in loads of talent. The most notable change over the past couple of offseasons was the additions they made to the offensive line.
They have brought in tackle Bryan Bulaga, Pro Bowl center Corey Linsley, and first-round pick Rashawn Slater. The Chargers have transformed into an elite offensive line to protect Herbert.
With great talent on the roster, the Chargers are ready to compete for a playoff spot. However, the Chargers are in a tough division that includes the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, and Las Vegas Raiders. The Chiefs are the main threat as they have gone to the Super Bowl the past 2 seasons.
Look for the Chargers to be a surprisingly great team this season, especially if they make some trades.