Chargers Need To Figure Out How To Trade For Jake Long
By Ernie Padaon
Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
The San Diego Chargers have issues at tackle. Jeromey Clary keeps giving up BIG plays. Mike Harris shouldn’t be starting in the league and Jared Gaither can’t get off the injury report. The offense is visibly better when Gaither is able to play.
Philip Rivers is getting constant pressure when he drops back to pass with the combination of Harris and Clary starting and he can’t get comfortable. Philip doesn’t have the ability to escape the pocket, so the team needs to invest bug time in an offensive line that can give him time to work with.
A player that could be available in a trade is Miami Dolphins OT Jake Long. The Dolphins drafted Stanford Jonathan Martinwho could be their future left tackle. Long has had an up and down season, but is still considered one of the top tackles in the league. He is a free agent at the end of the season and that could be one of the reasons why the Dolphins try to move him. They want to get something for him, before he hits the market. The Dolphins also would love to stockpile some young talent onto their roster.
Who would the Chargers give up to make that trade? I don’t know the price it would cost and don’t even know how it will work in the salary cap, but there are some creative people in the Chargers front office that can figure that part out. With AJ Smith on the bubble, a desparation trade would not be a suprise. AJ has a history of making trades during the season. When the Chargers needed a wide receiver, he brought in Chris Chambers from the Dolphins. He also brought in Keenan McCardell in a trade with Tampa Bay. Our biggest need at this point is on the offensive line, will AJ pick up that phone again?
If we do get Long, where would he play? He stays at left tackle! He is considered one of the best for a reason. If Jared Gaither is actually healthy, you move Gaither over to right tackle. He played right tackle for the Ravens a few seasons ago. Gaither may not like that idea, but it would be a HUGE upgrade. Clary would then be the backup at tackle. If Gaither can’t play, having Long and Clary would be a tremendous upgrade over Harris and Clary.
The offensive line would be stout and could give Philip time to throw the ball and could open up some holes for Ryan Mathews. All the receivers would benefit from the move and the offense could finally hit a groove.
AJ, get on the phone with Miami! A big time trade could bring some momentum to a team that needs it!