The running back position is one of the most talked about positions on the LA Chargers as we head into the 2022 season. The reason being is that the Bolts are particularly thin at the position and there is about to be an influx of running back options to consider.
Teams are trimming the rosters down from 80 players to 53 players over the next two days, meaning that 864 players are about to become available for any team to bring in. A lot of those 864 players are going to be running backs.
There is a lot of running back talent in the league and there is a good chance that the Bolts can bring in someone that is a better option in the room than Larry Rountree. Not only are there potential signings that the team can make, but there also could be some options on the trade market for the right price.
A new potential target has emerged as Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reported that the Minnesota Vikings are discussing an Alexander Mattison trade, with at least 12 teams inquiring about the running back's availability.
We know that Brandon Staley and the Chargers are high on Mattison as a running back. Staley literally told us that last season ahead of the team's matchup against the Vikings.
While Mattison is one of the most over-qualified backup running backs in the league and would be a fantastic addition behind Austin Ekeler, there is a very slim chance that the Bolts would actually trade for the Minnesota back.
An Alexander Mattison trade is simply too expensive for the LA Chargers.
In the same report from Tomasson, a source stated that it would probably take a third or fourth-round pick to convince the Vikings to trade Mattison before the season, even with the back being in the final year of his contract.
If the price for Mattison was a seventh or even a sixth-round pick then it would be a much different conversation for the Bolts. Mattison would add a legitimate presence to the running back room that the team does not have and for that price, it would likely be worth it.
However, a pick in the third or fourth round is simply too much for the Chargers to justify spending on a backup running back, regardless of how concerned the team might be with the running back depth. LA is not going to send another fourth-round pick after just spending a fourth-round pick on a back in Isaiah Spiller.
Plus, there are going to be some decent options available to simply be signed as the 31 other teams make their roster cuts. The Chargers won't sign someone as talented as Mattison but they don't need someone as talented as Mattison. They just need someone who could help provide depth behind Ekeler.
Even with Joshua Kelley's improvements and the team being high on Spiller, the Bolts should still gauge the market to get some kind of upgrade over Larry Rountree. That upgrade just shouldn't cost a mid-round draft pick.