6/5/2014 – by James Fedewa
The San Diego Chargers signed free agent running back Donald Brown this off season, who had a very good finale with the Colts last year, outperforming the newly acquired Trent Richardson. Brown was highly effective last season and was clearly the best running back on the Colts team, beating out Richardson.
The Chargers also drafted running back Marion Grice last month, out of Arizona State in the sixth round. Grice (6’ 207 lbs.) is a very talented, good young running back prospect who might be a very capable backup for the Chargers. Grice is considered a “silent steal” in the 6th round of the draft for the Chargers and was projected to go a lot earlier than the 6th round. Grice is expected to earn some solid playing time this season, but at the moment, he is buried on the depth chart, and last in line.
If Grice has a great camp and preseason, current Chargers starter Ryan Mathews should be very worried about his job in San Diego. Although, Mathews had a great year last season for the Chargers, plus he is in a contract year this season, which can be very motivational for a new contract; but…
What if an Adrian Peterson, or a DeMarco Murray, or a Matt Forte has a season ending injury tomorrow? Or any “prized” running back in the NFL gets hurt before the season starts? What would that “injury” be willing to offer (or demand) in a trade for, say… running back Ryan Mathews?
Not that Ryan Mathews is on the trading block, but could Mathews command a “first round draft pick” in a trade (like the Colts offer for Richardson)? Or what if Miami, DC or Tennessee offered a nice deal for Ryan Mathews that the Chargers could not refuse? It is early, but currently, San Diego seems to be stacked at the position.
Could Donald Brown carry the load as the primary starting running back for the Chargers in 2014; with Woodhead, Grice and Branden Oliver backing him up?
What would it take to pry Mathews from the Chargers? Probably too much, and of course, all pending on Marion Grice’s early camp and preseason.