The LA Chargers have plenty of talent on their roster, but which players are the most tradable?
The LA Chargers have a roster full of talented players, yet they are predicted by most professional sportswriters to be outside of a playoff spot, largely due to unknowns about the quarterback situation.
While this team certainly has the potential to make it to the playoffs, another subpar season would likely mean big changes, particularly with several critical players needing a new contract. Players with contracts that are due to expire after the 2020 season include Joey Bosa, Keenan Allen, Melvin Ingram III, Hunter Henry, and more.
In the event of a losing season, it makes sense to get some value out of the players on expiring contracts or contracts that will be difficult to renew given the player’s value. This would provide future value for a player that may otherwise be lost for nothing.
Although better players on longer contracts have greater trade value, many of these players are not worth trading.
With a young quarterback, it makes sense for the Chargers to invest in younger players that can fit into the timeline of when Justin Herbert may be ready to take this team on a playoff run. This is particularly true when the player is an elite level talent like Joey Bosa or Derwin James, even when these players will fetch the most trade value.
With that in mind, let’s look at the most tradable players on the Chargers roster and examine the value they may fetch in a trade.
Fifth most tradable player on the LA Chargers: Mike Williams
Starting off at number five, we have one of the most surprising options to make the list in Mike Williams.
Williams’ play is not responsible for him being tradable. Mike Williams is certainly among the top 10 best number second receivers in the NFL, if not in the top 5.
However, like many of his teammates, Williams has a contract that is set to expire soon. After Tom Telesco exercised Williams’ fifth-year option, Williams is under contract for two more years (the 2020 and 2021 seasons).
While this is more than many of his peers, Williams’ fifth year of his contract will see his salary balloon from around $6 million up to $16.6 million. What is even more concerning is the contract he will command the next year.
If former Chargers receiver Tyrell Williams can command a 4-year, $44 million contract, the contract that Williams will command on the open market could very well be number one wide receiver money.
For this reason, there is some logic in trading Williams before his contract expires. If traded during this season, it could be reasonable for the Chargers to get up to a second-round pick, which would be better than what they could get in a compensatory draft pick.
However, the more sound logic is to attempt to keep Williams around. By all accounts, Mike Williams seems happy in Los Angeles, and he may be willing to sign a below-market deal to stay on the team.
Furthermore, Williams is a young, talented player who fits well with the skill set of Justin Herbert. In the worst-case scenario, Williams is lost in 2021 free agency, but he is likely valuable enough to warrant a decent compensatory pick in 2022. It is worth the gamble to keep the talented receiver around.