The AFC West is already loaded with quarterbacks and is already arguably the best division in the NFL when it comes to quarterback play. Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Justin Herbert of the LA Chargers are two of the five best quarterbacks in the league and carry the division when it comes to elite quarterback play.
Charger fans already have to cope with the idea that they play in the same division as the best team in the league over the last four years in the Chiefs. And while the Chiefs provide plenty of competition, there might be more elite competition on its way this offseason.
The Green Bay Packers fell in the NFC Divisional Round to the San Francisco 49ers and it appears likely that Aaron Rodgers will not come back to Green Bay. It was likely heading into the year and it is even more likely now that the Packers fell short of the ultimate goal and did not win a playoff game.
Many Charger fans are worried that he will follow in Peyton Manning's footsteps and go to the Denver Broncos. The Broncos are a team that is a quarterback away from contending and Rodgers would be their guy. He would go into a situation where the team would instantly be great and he already has personal ties to the area.
Rodgers and the Packers worked out an arrangement where Rodgers' contract voids after the 2022 season, so he is essentially on an expiring deal. That makes it easier to trade him as he would only carry a $7.6 million dead cap hit if he was traded after June 1. The Broncos can make the money work in a trade and have the draft assets to send.
Aaron Rodgers is not the only elite quarterback that the LA Chargers should worry about coming to the AFC West.
While Rodgers is the big name that could come to the AFC West, there is a sleeper scenario that could impact the LA Chargers as well. Instead of seeing one elite quarterback come to their division, the LA Chargers could see a second come as well.
This sleeper scenario is Russell Wilson being traded to the Las Vegas Raiders. Let me explain.
The Seattle Seahawks are coming off of a terrible year and there are not any signs of it getting much better moving on. Wilson already tested the market by floating out a trade request last offseason and this could be the offseason that he does it.
One of the preferred teams that Wilson named was the Las Vegas Raiders. While the Raiders are coming off of a playoff season, they are cleaning house with general manager Mike Mayock already being fired. Rich Bisaccia could be next, but even if he stays, the next GM is going to want to leave a mark.
Derek Carr is a fine quarterback and while he rallied the troops in 2021, teams do not pass on the chance to land an elite quarterback. However, since Carr is solid enough, the Seahawks might talk themselves into taking on his contract in return for Wilson to essentially cop the Rams trade for Matt Stafford last offseason.
In this hypothetical, the Raiders would trade Derek Carr and three first-round picks to the Seattle Seahawks for Derek Carr. Seattle can sell its fans on Carr and use those picks to bolster the defense while Carr has weapons in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.
Meanwhile, Russ would come to a team that just made the playoffs and play in a city where his wife can coincidentally have a residency at one of the big Las Vegas hotels. Seems like a win-win for all parties involved.
And if that goes down, the Chargers are going to have six games against Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks who are all good enough to win the MVP award. Hopefully, no elite quarterbacks are added to the AFC West.