The LA Chargers and the rest of the NFL have been tasked with cutting the roster down to 53 players before Tuesday's deadline. As a result, there are naturally going to be some interesting names that become available via the waiver wire.
The Chargers already have some intriguing possibilities, whether it be an improvement at backup quarterback or a rookie tight end with a lot of upside. Having these kind of options make it even harder for the Bolts to cut the roster down to 53 players.
Adding to the list of players that could potentially garner interest from the Bolts is rookie safety Trey Dean. Dean, who went undrafted in the 2023 NFL Draft, was cut by the New York Jets on Monday despite having a strong preseason. Dean is a familiar name for Chargers fans as he was covered in detail during the draft process due to the connections he had with the Chargers coaching staff.
Dean had a very productive preseason, especially in run defense. Dean actually led all safeties in run stops this season with eight, per Pro Football Focus (h/t Steven Haglund, Guilty As Charged). Dean also showcased his versatility for the Jets, playing 72 snaps at free safety, 60 snaps in the box and 13 snaps at slot corner in the preseason.
Trey Dean's connection to the Chargers could lead him to LA
It will be interesting to see what the Chargers do with the safety position on the 53-man roster. On paper, Dean would be an excellent depth addition to this defense and his connections to Derrick Ansley (who is now the defensive coordinator) should not be ignored.
That being said, the Chargers didn't sign him as an undrafted free agent and the team may prefer to keep its in-house options over bringing in someone who would have to learn the defense. It really is a tough decision to make, as Dean also played 25 snaps on special teams and did quite well for the Jets.
In a perfect world, the Jets would pass on signing Dean to the practice squad and the Chargers could bring him to LA that way. However, with how well Dean played in the preseason, it would be legitimately shocking if the Jets didn't try and keep him around on the practice squad.
So it ultimately comes down to whether or not the Chargers want to take the chance on Dean over someone like Mark Webb Jr. Only time will tell.