Chargers trade Justin Jones
As of right now, Jones is listed as the team’s starting defensive tackle. A former third-round selection from the 2018 NFL Draft, Jones was expected to take the spot of free agent departure Darius Philon this year.
Though the former statement remains true, the Chargers then went and drafted defensive tackles Jerry Tillery and Cortez Broughton in the 2019 NFL Draft, both of which may have more explosive upside than Jones. The former is nursing an injury but is expected to participate in team drills next week, and the latter is a seventh-round selection looking to develop. Also along the depth of the defensive line are Damion Square and T.Y. McGill, both capable rotational pieces.
A trade for Jones would not come in the preseason, but rather some time around the trade deadline. By then, it is possible Tillery has healed up and asserted himself as the team’s best defensive tackle (he is) and Broughton has come along far enough to where he could rotate in from the second unit.
Trading for a defensive tackle in the NFL isn’t without precedent, and it was actually the Chargers who traded for one in 2013. Telesco sent a 2015 seventh-round selection to the Dallas Cowboys for Sean Lissemore, a defensive lineman capable of playing both defensive tackle and end. Whether this trade goes through depends on need around the league, and although it’s unlikely the Chargers make this move to begin with, it’s still worth considering if Jones is the odd-man out.
Are there any other trades the Chargers should consider? It’s difficult to find a balance between having depth and having too much depth, as the Chargers are looking to make a deep run into the playoffs. But maybe, in order to gear up for the 2020 draft to try and fill the losses of key free agents they couldn’t retain, Telesco could make a move.