Chargers GM Tom Telesco deserves his flowers for genius Dustin Hopkins trade

Cameron Dicker has won the kicking job while Tom Telesco is winning on the trade market.
Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

One of the most interesting position battles heading into Chargers training camp was at the kicker position between Dustin Hopkins and Cameron Dicker. For the first time in what felt like forever, the Chargers actually had two great options to choose from.

It became clear quickly throughout camp that the battle was Dicker's to lose and it was confirmed on Monday that he won the job. The Chargers didn't just give Dicker the job, though, they also managed to trade Hopkins to another team that will give him a starting job.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Chargers traded Hopkins to the Cleveland Browns, who waived Cade York. The draft compensation is not much, but it is more than simply waiving Hopkins and allowing another team to claim him.

Chargers GM Tom Telesco deserves praise for this Dustin Hopkins trade

It may not seem like a consequential move in the slightest but this was a genius move by Tom Telesco and the Chargers. This is truly an instance where the trade works out for all parties involved, as it helps the Chargers in multiple ways.

The obvious benefit of this trade is getting an extra draft pick to play around with in the future. Seventh-round picks typically don't amount to much but it gives the Chargers another chance to experiment. Plus, as we saw with the Isaiah Simmons trade, the Chargers could get a talented player with a future seventh-round pick if need be.

Additionally, the Chargers also saved money against the salary cap by moving on from Hopkins. The Chargers saved $2.28 million against the cap this year and $4.75 million in 2024. If the Chargers had cut Hopkins they would have saved half as much in the 2023 season.

This may not seem like much but it gives the team a larger in-season budget to make moves if needed. It also creates more roll-over cap space for the 2024 season, which could end up being important with the big contracts the team is dealing with.

All in all, this was the best route the Chargers could have taken with the kicking battle and Telesco was able to pull off a trade despite Hopkins dealing with lingering injuries for most of camp. That is a big win for the Bolts.