The LA Chargers trading Melvin Ingram makes absolutely no sense.
Melvin Ingram has been one of the better pass rushers in the entire NFL over the last few seasons for the LA Chargers. He has 43 combined sacks over the last five seasons and has been a Pro Bowler in the last three seasons.
He forms arguably the best edge-rushing duo in the entire league alongside Joey Bosa, who is even better than Ingram is and arguably has not even hit his prime yet. For comparison’s sake, Ingram did not have a great year until he was 26. Bosa turns 25 in July.
Ingram is entering the last year of his contract and definitely is in the latter stages of his career. He is going to be 31 in 2020 and while he is still very productive, he will start to regress here soon as all great pass rushers do when they are past 30.
Whether or not the Chargers re-sign Ingram is going to depend on his play this season and how much he is asking for in a new contract. The team has several other big-name players that are free agents, such as Bosa and Keenan Allen, that are going to be more of a priority.
All of these factors have created a discussion around whether or not it would be worth it to trade Melvin Ingram.
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report actually makes the case for the Chargers trading Ingram in his latest article that outlines one player from every team that would be worth trading. Per the article (h/t Bolts from the Blue):
“Though still a productive sack artist—he had 7.0 sacks in 13 games last season—he is nearing the back end of his career. He’s also in the final year of his contract and is set to carry a cap hit of nearly $17 million.
Dealing Ingram to a contender would both free up valuable money and help provide additional pieces who would be around when Los Angeles is ready to make a run with Herbert.”
The logic there makes sense in some regard as the Chargers could save some money this season and get something valuable in return for Ingram. However, there are multiple problems with trading Ingram.
Why the LA Chargers should not trade Melvin Ingram:
First of all, let’s look at that cap hit. $17 million is a big cap hit but it is just for one season and as far as we are concerned, Ingram is still productive. The Chargers are done spending, so there is literally no reason other than saving money for Dean Spanos to cut or trade Ingram.
If this was a multi-year thing or the Chargers needed the money to sign, say Tom Brady, earlier in the offseason then it absolutely would make sense. However, they are done making moves and if they really wanted to trade Ingram to save money they would have done it by now.
Then you could look at the aspect of what the team could receive in return. On paper, it makes sense for the Chargers to trade Ingram for future value as they probably are not Super Bowl contenders in 2020.
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The problem here is that we are probably vastly overrating what Ingram would get in a trade. He is a very solid player, but he is not going to warrant a big return. Look at the Jason Pierre-Paul trade from two years ago.
The New York Giants traded a younger JPP (who is the same age as Ingram), who was coming off of a very similar year as Ingram’s 2019, and a fourth-round pick for a third and fourth in return — and that was with multiple years still on his contract.
What team is going to swallow a massive cap hit and trade future value for one year of Melvin Ingram? A contending team, maybe, but it is hard seeing the Chargers getting anything more than a fourth-round pick at the absolute most.
It just is not worth it. The LA Chargers have a really talented roster and I would much rather the team take its chances with the guys they have and have a successful season and maybe even make the playoffs rather than just punt on the year and trade away assets.
When you punt on your team and trade someone like Melvin Ingram, that sends a message to the rest of the players that you do not think they are good enough. At that point then, why would Allen, Bosa, Hunter Henry and Desmond King want to re-sign?
It is much bigger than just trading Melvin Ingram.