LA Chargers: Potential trade destinations for Melvin Ingram
By Steven Haglund
LA Chargers first potential trade option: Atlanta Falcons
Let’s start with an NFC team, that way the LA Chargers wouldn’t have to trade him within the same conference, which is something NFL teams try to avoid. This potential partnership makes a lot of sense on paper.
The Falcons desperately need someone to take attention away from Grady Jarret, who is absolutely an up and coming star in this league. Currently, their best defensive end is Dante Fowler, who is solid but he’s never been the kind of player that Ingram has.
This also fits for the scheme, Dan Quinn runs basically the same scheme that Gus Bradley does, both being Pete Carroll disciples. So Ingram wouldn’t have to come in and learn a new playbook, perhaps the verbiage is a little different but it wouldn’t be that drastic of a trade-off for the 31-year-old.
The only caveat here is that the Falcons don’t have a ton of cap space. So they too would likely have to renegotiate with Ingram. They currently have around $7 million in space, so the trade would have to include them sending the Chargers a player in return but it’s doable. It would just be a matter of if they want to keep Ingram around after 2020 or not.
It would be my preference that if the Chargers were to trade Ingram that they get a defensive end in return. The idea of having Uchenna Nwosu take Ingram’s place as the starting LEO is fine, but then you’re in a world where Isaac Rochell and UDFA Joe Gaziano are your team’s primary backups and that is terrifying.
The Falcons have a few young players at these positions, most notably Takkarist McKinley, who has flashed the potential to maybe become a starting player in this league but he has yet to put it all together. The others, outside of Fowler, are mostly unproven. This is another reason why I think trading for Ingram would make sense for them, they need a true torch carrier in that room and I’m not sure Fowler is that guy.
I can’t imagine the two teams would agree to swap Ingram and Fowler, although the cap hits would be close enough to make it work on that end. So I think Fowler would be off the table and I wouldn’t want to take any of the young and unproven talent like Charles Harris.
So my proposal with the Falcons would be: Ingram and a 2021 seventh-round draft pick to ATL for Allen Bailey, a 2021 second-round pick and 2022 fifth-round draft pick.
I know Chargers fans would love to see a first-round pick, but that’s just not happening with the season being so close and the Chargers not having much leverage.
Getting two draft picks and a rotational player should be plenty. Bailey has never really been the guy, but he did show he was a capable backup while playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, particularly in 2018 when he did rack up 6 sacks.