When the Los Angeles Chargers traded for Cardale Jones in July 2017, it appeared to be a move toward developing a quarterback of the future. Not even two years later, there appears to be no place for him on the roster.
Jones was likely hanging by a thread in terms of job security heading into the offseason, but even so, he was one of only two quarterbacks on the team’s roster. But following two major moves made by the team, one in free agency and one in the draft, Jones is easily the biggest loser of the offseason.
The Chargers started by signing veteran Tyrod Taylor, a quarterback who has played in 62 games, many of which have been starts, in his eight-year career. This gives the Chargers one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league.
They then followed that up by drafting Easton Stick in the fifth round of the draft. Though Stick is a developmental project, he offers plenty of promise and may just be the guy who gets the ball after the retirement of Philip Rivers.
So where does that leave Jones? Pretty much nowhere, at least in Los Angeles.
The handwriting was pretty much on the wall for Jones last year when he couldn’t beat out Geno Smith as the team’s backup quarterback. Though he has only played in preseason games for the team, he has been far from impressive in those games.
Jones came from Ohio State, one of the top college football programs in the country. He was the quarterback of the first team to ever win the national championship after the NCAA instituted the College Football Playoff. However, he made a total of just 11 starts for Buckeyes.
He seemed ill-prepared for the NFL, but the Buffalo Bills still used their fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft to bring him in. He was inactive for all but the season finale in 2016 and was brought in during the fourth quarter of that game, completing six of his 11 throws for 96 yards and an interception.
More from Bolt Beat
- LA Chargers second-year players: Nothing lose and a lot to gain
- LA Chargers: Why running back could be a big issue for the Bolts
- LA Chargers: Chris Rumph’s upside is Melvin Ingram-like, but better
- Chargers: Reggie Slater calls LA the “dream scenario” for Rashawn Slater
- LA Chargers: The 4 best moves of the Bolts’ offseason
The Bills then shipped him to the Chargers the following offseason for a conditional draft pick.
Now, he is stuck in a spot where it just seems like there isn’t much room for him to move up the ladder. Taylor will be the backup and Stick will almost certainly make the team as well. The Chargers won’t put Stick on the practice squad and risk the chance of another team grabbing him off of there.
That means that Jones has been reduced to nothing more than a camp arm.
His best bet is to ball out for the Chargers in training camp and preseason games in hopes of catching the eyes of another team in the league, one that might give him a shot to someday see the field. If that doesn’t work out, Vince McMahon’s XFL kicks off its new season this coming spring.