It is officially the driest part of the NFL calendar, which means it is time for NFL pundits in every walk of life to propose various trade ideas for the LA Chargers. Some think the team should try trading for Mehki Becton from the New York Jets, some suggest that the Bolts could make a move for Deebo Samuel.
The latest trade proposal is perhaps the most interesting. Guilty As Charged Podcast host (and friend of Bolt Beat) Alex Insdorf proposed a potential trade idea for the LA Chargers in a recent podcast episode: trading a day three pick for Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks.
The replies were instantly flooded with Vikings fans who said that this trade idea is absurd because of Kendricks' status in the league and the fact that it is only a day-three pick. In reality, with how undervalued linebacker has become (and considering Kendricks is coming off the worst year of his career, is 30 and is paid a lot of money), a day four pick might be fair value in a vacuum.
However, NFL trades do not happen in a vacuum.
This proposed Eric Kendricks trade doesn't make sense for both the LA Chargers and Minnesota Vikings.
Sorry Alex, but I just can't see eye-to-eye with you on this one. From the Vikings' point of view, they really do not have a reason to trade Kendricks this season. Sure, the argument is that the team might end up cutting him next season anyway to save the cap hit but the Vikings are in a position to want to keep Kendricks around.
While the Vikings are nowhere near as talented as the Chargers, they are still a playoff contender in the weak NFC, especially in the super weak NFC North. If the Vikings were a contending team it would be one thing but they very well could be the sixth or seventh seed in the NFC this season.
NFL teams do not commit to the tank as often as NBA teams as well. If this was the NBA then maybe this kind of trade would be considered. But late-round picks do not have much value and the Vikings would get more value out of simply keeping Kendricks in town.
Plus, Minnesota would still have a dead cap hit of $7.5 million if they traded him. If he has a good season and they want to get off his contract in the offseason they could trade him before the draft next spring. If he has a bad year then they just chalk it up to a bad year.
As far as the Chargers are concerned, trading for Kendricks would not really make much sense either. As mentioned, he is coming off of the worst year of his career and has crossed the deadly 30-year-old threshold. Players can regress quickly in the NFL and Kendricks might not be the same player next season.
Plus, trading for Kendricks would cut into the rollover cap for next season. This rollover cap is actually really important with the Bolts needing to extend Derwin James and having several back-loaded contracts that have much bigger cap hits next season.
Yes, linebacker is a weakness, but it is also the least important position in Brandon Staley's defensive scheme. Nobody wants to believe in Kenneth Murray but the ship has not completely sailed on him being a decent option if he is not dealing with an injury and getting moved to a position he obviously doesn't fit at.
Plus, at the end of the day, this is the same Chargers team that did not think it was worth paying Kyzir White $3 million after his breakout season in 2021. Based on how Brandon Staley wants this defense to operate, trading a pick and taking on that cap hit would be way too expensive for a guy who is past his prime.