Chargers' likely Keenan Allen replacement is now undeniably clear

Los Angeles Chargers v Green Bay Packers
Los Angeles Chargers v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The LA Chargers shocked the world on Thursday night by trading Keenan Allen to the Chicago Bears for a fourth-round pick. Los Angeles made the move to create more salary-cap space even though the team had already gotten cap-compliant.

The biggest move the Chargers made to get cap-compliant before trading Allen was releasing Mike Williams. After Williams was released, many assumed that Allen was safe as the team would not intentionally deplete the entire wide receiver room for Justin Herbert.

But that is exactly what the Chargers did and now it seems like a necessity to bring Williams back. There was reported interest in reuniting with Williams when he was first released and now that is actually possible financially.

That being said, nobody can blame Williams for feeling jaded by the Chargers and opting to sign elsewhere. If that is the case, or if Williams is simply too expensive, the Chargers may need to go another route as they need some kind of help in the WR room. Even if the Chargers draft a wide receiver with the fifth pick, it won't be enough to compete with the best teams in the league next season.

The timing of all this may have been perfect as a new prominent wide receiver just hit the market in Michael Gallup. Gallup may not be someone who Chargers fans are clamoring for, but his existing ties to new wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal may result in him coming to Los Angeles (h/t Kevin Brady, Inside Star).

Chargers may sign Michael Gallup after Cowboys release

To be clear, the real replacement for Allen on the depth chart would be Malik Nabers, who the Chargers will presumably pick in the first round. Nabers will come in as the WR1 on the depth chart and will (hopefully) keep this passing offense from drowning.

But in the sense of bringing in a current NFL player to replace Allen on the depth chart, Gallup may be the most likely candidate because of his ties to Lal. Joe Hortiz has proven this offseason that existing ties to the coaching staff is important and could shoot someone up the priority list.

There are also some things working in Gallup's favor. Since he was released by the Cowboys he will not count against the compensatory formula whereas someone like Tyler Boyd would. That makes a difference, and if it comes down to Gallup and another player, mixed with his experience with Lal, could decide it.

There are some concerns about Gallup and they are justified. He definitely would not be able to fill the shoes that Allen or even Williams is leaving behind. That being said, he can still be a quality WR2 and as long as he can stay healthy, can give the Chargers the same dynamic that Williams did in the offense as a jump-ball specialist.

He may not be the most exciting, but he may also come at a great price. Gallup is coming off three underwhelming seasons and it is hard to see him getting more than $6-7 million a year from whichever team he signs with. That is right in the Chargers' price range.

Love the move or hate the move, it would at least make logical sense for the Chargers based on the existing connections and the team's current need at wide receiver.