LA Chargers second potential trade option: Houston Texans
If there is a contending level team in the AFC that could really use a boost on defense, it’s the Houston Texans. The Texans need a lot of things, but they really missed Jadeveon Clowney after they traded him to the Seahawks last year, especially once J.J. Watt went down with an injury.
Whitney Mercilus had seven and a half sacks in 2019 and that led the team. Trading Ingram within the conference and to another contender would hurt, but we’ve all seen how Bill O’Brien handles trades — this might be the best situation for the Chargers and for Ingram.
The first question here is if the Texans be willing to extend Ingram past 2020. They’ve obviously got Deshaun Watson’s massive payday coming and have a combined $26 million invested in Watt and Mercilus. They have a team option on Mercilus’ contract after the 2021 season, so choosing to extend Ingram over Mercilus is possible.
The other possibility that could work for both teams is an Ingram and Mercilus swap. Mercilus is not the player Ingram is, granted he does play in a different role in the Texans 3-4 defense.
The reason why this could make sense here is that the Chargers could ease Nwosu into the role of starter and Mercilus into more of a situational role. That could be a situation where both Nwosu and Mercilus could thrive and the Chargers wouldn’t have to sacrifice talent or depth upfront.
If the Chargers elected for this option they could trade Ingram and a 2021 seventh-round draft pick for Mercilus and a 2021 fourth-round draft pick.
If they choose to go the route of aiming for a better draft pick, the Texans do have the picks to do Ingram for picks straight up. This has been the more traditional route of trades recently in the NFL, but as I mentioned before I do think the Chargers would be wise to try and acquire another pass rusher in this hypothetical situation.