The Los Angeles Chargers are reportedly shopping veteran Dontrelle Inman. Should the Bolts part ways with the veteran receiver?
If you haven’t heard already, the Chargers are looking to deal wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Whether that rumor is true or not, is it actually smart to give up Inman? Inman has developed into a solid receiver since entering the league as an undfrafted free agent in 2011. Before signing with the Chargers in 2014, Inman played in the Canadian Football League (CFL) for two years (2012-13) after being cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
When Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson went down with injuries last season, Inman was forced to step into the No. 1 receiver role. How did he do? Well, Inman finished with career highs in receptions (58), yards (810) and receiving touchdowns (four). He also finished with 97 targets, second-most on the team.
While fellow receiver Tyrell Williams put up better numbers in 2016, Inman was the more reliable receiver. He’s a sure-handed wideout who has gained quarterback Philip Rivers’ trust, which is very important.
Inman, who was a restricted free agent, signed his one-year, $2.746 million deal in the offseason, none of which is guaranteed, per OverTheCap.com. He turns 29 years old next calendar year.
The Chargers know what they have in Inman. Not only that, but they have lost a plethora of receivers to injury over the past several years, so should they be willing to trade a guy who knows the system and is good at what he does/can fill in when needed? As of now, it’s somewhat of a luxury to have Inman on the roster (who I think could be a No. 2-3 receiver on another team instead of a No.3-5 receiver on this team), as the team has Allen, T. Williams, Travis Benjamin and Mike Williams. Perhaps M. Williams, who is expected back in October, is ahead of schedule. The 2017 first-round pick has been recovering from a back injury.
That, or the Chargers see potential in another wideout. Geremy Davis is a player that comes to mind. Davis, the New York Giants’ 2015 sixth-round pick who doesn’t have much experience (two career catches for 21 yards), has stood out in practice and during the games. After getting no offensive snaps in the preseason opener, Davis caught six balls for 50 yards in the last two games combined. The 6-foot-3, 217-pounder is a big body with upside, and he’s three years younger than Inman. Isaiah Burse is another candidate to replace Inman should the latter be traded, but Burse has been dealing with injuries (concussion, torn labrum).
If the Chargers do trade Inman, they should try and get a player in return. The Chargers could use another running back behind Melvin Gordon and Branden Oliver, as Andre Williams, Kenneth Farrow, Kenjon Barner and Austin Ekeler have yet to prove they are worthy of a roster spot. With Denzel Perryman (Achilles) out for a few months, the Chargers could use more depth at linebacker. Korey Toomer and Nick Dzubnar are currently battling it out for the starting middle linebacker job and while there are promising prospects like Nigel Harris and James Onwualu, they could use more talent here. Depth at tackle is needed, too. If starting tackles Russell Okung and Joseph Barksdale go down, the Chargers are going to be in panic mode.
But if the Chargers don’t get an offer they want or a pick they don’t feel is worth Inman’s value, they shouldn’t force a trade. Like I said, Inman is a solid player at a position that’s been ravaged by injuries in the past.