This Justin Jefferson trade proposal would ensure Justin Herbert's best season yet

We've entered the 'no man's land' portion of the offseason. Let us dream.
Los Angeles Chargers, Justin Jefferson
Los Angeles Chargers, Justin Jefferson / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

This offseason, the Los Angeles Chargers have gone through quite a few changes. Now, with new leadership and coaching, one thing remains consistent: the franchise quarterback.

Justin Herbert is still in L.A. and hoping the new regime has put together enough for him to succeed not just in the immediate future, but for the long haul.

One thing still missing? A true WR1. While the hope is there for first-round selection Ladd McConkey, L.A. doesn't have an established name on the roster.

Could there be one particular veteran available via trade sometime soon?

The Minnesota Vikings and star wide receiver Justin Jefferson have yet to come to terms on a contract extension, and the trade rumors have been running rampant over the course of the offseason.

With the contract situation up in the air, Bleacher Report's Alex Ballentine recently wrote a column based around a few notable trade possibilities for Jefferson. Naturally, he had to include the Chargers, who are in need of a legitimate WR1.

Justin Jefferson trade

Ballentine wrote:

"No receiver room took as much of a hit this offseason as the Los Angeles Chargers. The receiving options used to be a strength for the Bolts, but with Mike Williams getting released and Keenan Allen traded to the Chicago Bears, they are all of a sudden a young, unproven group."

He later went on to make sense of it from Los Angeles' financial point of view:

"Harbaugh and general manager Joe Hortiz were forced to part ways with Williams and Allen due to their immediate cap situation, but they have already done a lot to remedy that. They have the fifth-most cap space in the league right now with $26.2 million and are looking good for the future with $48.8 million in 2025."

The Chargers would be committing highway robbery by making this trade

If I'm a Vikings fan, there is absolutely zero chance I like the outcome of this deal. Based on what we saw last year out of Quentin Johnston, he has no shot to replace Jefferson in Minnesota, let alone even become their WR2 or WR3.

The Vikings also believe they have enough on that roster to try and compete for an NFC North title, so long as the quarterback position is stable enough. Whether it's Sam Darnold or rookie J.J. McCarthy, the Vikings simply need a quarterback to not lose games, and they should be competitive.

Having to wait until 2025 to truly try and replace Jefferson would be throwing in the towel on this season. Unless Minnesota were to land a capable WR2, at the very least, I don't see a world where they trade Jefferson.

Now, on the flip side. Justin Herbert would be a happy man, and should be in for a career year.

Herbert is used to having weapons, of course, but injuries have kept Mike Williams from fully blossoming and Keenan Allen has been the only staple for Herbert, most of his career. Jefferson, meanwhile, is essentially matchup-proof. Having the best wide receiver in the league on your side would certainly help Herbert's ability to maintain consistency.

Pairing an alpha wideout like Jefferson with a crafty route runner like rookie Ladd McConkey would instantly give Herbert the best tandem he's had since entering the league, and that's no disrespect to Allen or Williams. Jefferson is on another level, and if McConkey is healthy, he gives Herbert someone who is going to be open a whole lot more often than not.

The only question, from there on out, is whether or not the offensive line can protect Herbert from enduring injury, himself. If Herbert can stay upright, he'd be set for the best year of his career in 2024.