Even Keenan Allen cannot escape LA Chargers trade speculation.
The LA Chargers are one of the most intriguing teams heading into the 2020 season. The Bolts are making a quarterback change for the first time since 2006 and Charger fans are going to have to learn to live without Philip Rivers.
The roster is one of the more talented rosters in the league as well, making Tyrod Taylor’s performance under center critical to the team’s success in 2020.
One of the most talented members of the roster is Pro Bowl wideout Keenan Allen, who has earned Pro Bowl honors three years in a row with a combined 3,788 yards, 303 receptions and 18 touchdowns.
Allen ranks third in the league in receptions and fourth in receiving yards over that three-year stretch. The only two receivers in football that have more receiving yards and receptions over the last three seasons are Michael Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins.
Allen is undoubtedly one of the best receivers in the league and is a pillar of the LA Chargers organization. You would think with all of this that Allen would escape any possible trade speculation. He hasn’t.
Pro Football Focus suggests that Keenan Allen could be traded from the LA Chargers
Andrew Erickson of Pro Football Focus put together a list of one player from every team that could be traded this season. Most of these players are in the last years of their deal, and with several players on the Chargers set to be free agents, Erickson tabbed Allen as the Bolts’ likely option.
Now, we need to make this clear, this is in no way a report that the LA Chargers are in trade talks for Keenan Allen.
Because it will never happen.
Erickson cites that Allen does not fit Tyrod Taylor’s game particularly well and that the team could be better pressed to get future value out of Allen with a rookie quarterback in Justin Herbert waiting in the wings. There are multiple things to break down here.
First, the idea that Allen does not fit with Taylor’s game is a bit odd to me. Allen is not a speedster that only runs vertical routes and needs a quarterback with a great arm. He is someone who utilizes his elusiveness and elite route-running to get open, mostly on medium routes.
How doesn’t that fit into Taylor’s system? In fact, and this is something I have argued before, I would say that this makes Allen more valuable as Taylor will continually look his way because of the separation he creates. Taylor will not be forcing throws into coverage as much as Rivers and will take the safer option almost every time.
Second of all, having a rookie quarterback also makes Allen more valuable. What is going to be better for Justin Herbert: having an elite WR1 who still has, at the very least, two more prime years after 2020, or having a receiving corps of Mike Williams, K.J. Hill and who knows else?
If Keenan Allen was 32 and at the end of his prime and regressing then that would be one thing. He is 28! He is the same age as Hopkins, who was just acquired by the Arizona Cardinals to give a young quarterback (Kyler Murray) a legitimate WR1.
And Keenan Allen walks away after this season then fine, at least the Chargers gave Tyrod Taylor a legit WR1 and the team had a chance to extend him. No team is going to offer that much for Allen if they know they can simply pursue him in free agency.
There are other answers to this experiment that make much more sense than Allen. Melvin Ingram or Desmond King at least make a sliver of sense.
Trading Keenan Allen, likely for a second-round pick (at the absolute most) does not make sense.