Overreaction #3: The Los Angeles Chargers should consider cutting or trading Bryan Bulaga
In 2020, Bryan Bulaga has had a season to forget. Unfortunately, there really has not been that much to forget.
Bryan Bulaga came to the Chargers from the Green Bay Packers on what looked like a fantastic deal of 3 years and $30 million. Considering that the New York Jets signed George Fant for a practically identical contract, the deal looked simply fantastic.
However, Bulaga came with a known injury history, and that history has re-emerged in Los Angeles.
Bulaga has only played 100% of snaps in a game five times in 2020 (in Weeks 1, 8, 10, 11, and 13). Beyond that, Bulaga has played in five other games in which he did not finish the game, including Week 16, when Bulaga had another flare-up of his back injury.
Given his injury problems, is there any reason for the Chargers to consider cutting or trading Bulaga?
For starters, the Los Angeles Chargers do not really have an option of cutting Bulaga in 2021. Cutting Bulaga before July 1 would actually cost the Chargers about $3 million in salary-cap space, while cutting him post-July 1 would not save any cap space in 2021 with just a bit of savings in 2022. Since the Chargers have an out in his contract in the 2022 offseason, both options for Bulaga’s release in 2021 are not logical.
So, should the Chargers consider trying to trade Bulaga in the offseason?
The primary reason for doing that would be to achieve more consistency along the offensive line. A part of the reason that the Chargers have struggled on the offensive line is because they have rarely ever had a consistent starting unit, with different right tackles frequently being rotated in upon Bulaga’s injuries.
Outside of this, Bulaga has played decently in 2020, especially considering that he seems to have never achieved full health. A fully healthy Bulaga would be sure to play better in 2021.
This hope, along with the lack of trade value for Bulaga, should prevent the Chargers from considering trading Bulaga. While Bulaga has a little more value than Russell Okung did in the offseason, the Chargers should not expect much more in a trade than they got in their trade of Okung in last season. Simply put, one cannot expect much when trying to trade an injury-prone veteran on a substantial contract.
While Bulaga’s injuries have hurt the Chargers in 2020, more should be expected of Bulaga in 2021. That, along with the lack of logic in a release and his low trade value, should keep the Chargers from considering moving on from Bulaga.
Verdict #3: Overreaction