Under the new guidance of Jim Harbaugh and Joe Hortiz, the LA Chargers have several big decisions to make this offseason. The team is currently well over the salary cap and is going to have to make several moves to not just get in the green, but to get enough space to pay the draft class and any free agents.
Because of his age and bloated salary-cap hit, there was at least some speculation that Keenan Allen could be part of the Chargers freeing up cap space this offseason. However, Harbaugh directly mentioning Allen by name seemingly indicated that he will be back in 2024 no matter what.
Some NFL pundits haven't gotten that memo, though, and are still proposing that the Chargers trade Allen this offseason. Bleacher Reports' NFL scouting department just put together a list of one trade that every single NFL team should make this offseason and proposed quite the doozy for the Chargers: Keenan Allen to the Arizona Cardinals for Rondale Moore and a 2024 third-round pick.
"Allen's trade value is never going to be higher than it is right now based on his age and contract. The ability to get a Day 2 pick and a player who is still on a rookie contract should be enticing as the Chargers look to reset their financial situation.
An exciting option for Moore is that the Chargers could look to play Moore as a running back at times. He's compact at 5'7", 180 pounds and could potentially soak up some of the pass-catching responsibilities out of the backfield if Austin Ekeler is not retained."
Chargers will never make this asinine Keenan Allen trade
We respect the grind of putting together one trade for every single NFL team but there is no way that the Chargers make a move like this. Heck, there is actually a more likely veteran to be traded on the team in Khalil Mack. Mack is someone who the Chargers could actually trade, not Allen.
Allen is simply too important to this offense and the last thing the Chargers are going to do is make Herbert's life harder next season. Bleacher Report can build up Rondale Moore all they want, he would be a massive downgrade from Allen and would not help the Chargers in any tangible way.
Yes, Allen is older and there are injury risks involved but he proved last season that when he is healthy he is one of the best receivers in the league still. Getting 13 healthy games from Allen and a healthy postseason is far more impactful than 17 games of Moore plus the crapshoot that would be a third-round pick.
Plus, there are ways to save money on Allen's deal without trading him. The Chargers could convert some of his base salary into bonuses to be paid out over the course of an extension. Let's say the Chargers signed Allen to a two-year, $24 million deal and converted $12 million of his salary in 2024 to bonus money.
Not only would the Chargers save $12 million in 2024, but Allen's cap hit in both 2025 and 2026 would only be $18 million. That is a far better way to shave salary-cap space while also keeping Allen around as a bridge to the next generation.