One of the thinnest positions on the LA Chargers roster heading into training camp was the running back position and not much has happened that should make fans feel more optimistic about the backs that they have in that room.
Austin Ekeler is great but there are huge question marks everywhere else. Joshua Kelley started camp looking good and had some hype around him but has since fallen back down to earth and looks to be more of the same. Larry Rountree is still the same guy who does not add much to the offense and Isaiah Spiller hasn't looked tremendous and will miss some time with an ankle injury.
The Bolts are still motivated to run four running backs on the active roster and if the team can replace one of the backs (likely Rountree) with someone who is better that would be a huge win. Los Angeles should not shy away from the cut market in the coming weeks and there is one name from a division rival that could make a lot of sense.
That name is Kansas City Chiefs running back Ronald Jones, who is fighting an uphill battle to make the roster in KC and seems more likely to get cut. Nothing is a guarantee in the NFL and Jones could make the roster but that would be the more surprising outcome.
Why the LA Chargers should sign Ronald Jones if he is cut:
This is all about the risk-reward that the Chargers would be dealing with. Some against signing Jones would argue that he has not looked great and there are plenty of examples of situations like this that did not work out.
While that is absolutely fair, the thing that derails that argument is the fact that the Chargers are not taking any real risk. It would be a miniscule contract that does not have this over-arching impact on the cap and it is not like the team is cutting a promising young player to make room.
Rountree might be young but he is not very promising. The Chargers are much better off taking a chance to see if they find something in Jones than they are to find something in Rountree, who has looked really bad since coming into the league.
There are great examples of these kinds of signings working out great. Everyone bashed Leonard Fournette when he hit the market in 2020 and not many Chargers fans saw any value in potentially bringing him in. Fournette went to Tampa Bay and became their most important back in the playoffs.
You never know the kind of impact that a signing like this can have and it is not like Jones is some no-name back with no past. It was just two years ago that Jones finished just under 1,000 rushing yards in 14 games played. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry that season while also being an impactful presence in the passing game.
Jones has proven that he can be that multi-faceted back that makes a difference in both the run and pass and that is exactly what the Chargers need. It is not like he is very old, either, as the former USC back is still only 25.
The Chargers need help at running back and if they are going to continue operating in an aggressive manner to build the best team possible then they should be closely monitoring the Ronald Jones situation.