Rams serve as cautionary tale for Chargers being aggressive
By Tyler Schoon
The Chargers could have made a splash to boost their roster, but their cross-town rivals show just why aggressive moves don’t always pay off.
Chargers fans were hoping the organization would make a big move prior the trade deadline, but Tom Telesco stayed put and hoped the members of his roster would step up and push the team to the playoffs.
That decision may have cost the team this season; however, it does give them freedom in the future.
Pretend the Chargers sent their two first-round selections in the next two drafts for Jalen Ramsey. Does the outcome of any of their games following the trade deadline change? Maybe, but unlikely. The defense just held the Chiefs to two legitimate touchdown drives, stymieing Patrick Mahomes the entire way. Ramsey would have been a much better starter over Michael Davis, but in a game where Mahomes only threw for 182 yards and one touchdown, how much could he have done?
What’s the biggest point of conversation following that game: Replacing Philip Rivers, whether that be immediately following the 2019 season or in another year or two. Either way, most prefer the Chargers take Rivers’ heir apparent in the 2020 or 2021 draft.
You know what would have made it difficult to do so?
The Rams don't have a 1st round pick until 2022. They gave up 2 1st rounders for Jalen Ramsey… and they still have to pay him. It's going to get very complicated cap wise very quickly
— trey wingo (@wingoz) November 26, 2019
Or, say they extend No. 17 for another two years. Are any Chargers fans comfortable with Telesco taking a tackle or corner without a first-round selection?
It’s not just the draft where the Chargers have an edge; as of right now, the Rams have $17.8 and $64.4 million in cap space available in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The Chargers have $55 and $168 million in those same years. Sure, most of that is because they are not paying their quarterback and star pass rusher just yet, but they do have the freedom to fill out the roster with the players they prefer.
Now, the success of the Chargers in the next two years depends on how they use those picks and select those free agents. But, at the very least, they’ll have the chance to use those picks and their cap space as they enter their first year in their new stadium. The Rams took a swing and missed, and although many fans would have preferred to see the Chargers make the Super Bowl last year, it’ll be all Chargers in the years to come as Telesco’s plan of patience keeps them in contention.