LA Chargers: “Steal a Player” series – NFC South edition

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(Photo by Steve Grayson/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Steve Grayson/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

From the New Orleans Saints, the LA Chargers steal…

QB Drew Brees

Is it really stealing a player if he once belonged to your own team?

Admittedly, Drew Brees could have some hard feelings against the team that he once said was making the “worst mistake ever” by taking a rookie quarterback in the 2004 NFL Draft. However, it makes sense for the Chargers to steal the twilight years of Brees’ career.

Adding Drew Brees to this Chargers roster is an easy low risk, high reward situation.

First, the risk – Brees is an aging quarterback, and he clearly does not have the elite throw power or ability that he once showed in his career. It is possible that 2019 was the last year that Brees had elite ability, and stealing him could put the Chargers into a similar situation that they were in last year with a declining Philip Rivers.

In this situation, a year of potential would be wasted, but the Chargers would simply allow Brees to retire and wash their hands of him again. Brees is on a team-friendly two-year deal that only carries a cap hit of $23.6 million in 2020, so the cost of his contract against roster-building would be minimal for a new quarterback.

RELATED: The Chargers had the greatest draft in NFL history

Now the potential – what if Drew Brees has one last year of elite play left in him? Even without the other NFC South additions joining the team, this Chargers roster would be a major contender for the Super Bowl with an elite quarterback.

And, no, Drew Brees is not already washed up. Brees has continued to outperform other quarterbacks in his age range. In 2019, PFF gave Brees a 91.2 overall grade, which compares quite favorably to other aging quarterbacks like Tom Brady (80.4) and Philip Rivers (74.3).

Furthermore, Brees can fit well with the best receivers on the Chargers. Keenan Allen is excellent at creating separation, and his route running ability would pair perfectly with Brees’ pinpoint anticipatory throwing.

Hunter Henry will quickly become the most talented tight end that Brees has worked with since the time when Jimmy Graham was talented. Austin Ekeler will become the shifty backfield target that Brees utilized so well previously in Alvin Kamara.

By taking Brees from New Orleans, we are gambling on the risk of a lost year of development for Justin Herbert in exchange for a chance at a Super Bowl. That sounds like an excellent gamble to me.

Top 3 other options: WR Michael Thomas, LT Terron Armstead, CB Marshon Lattimore