The 2021 NFL trade deadline is fast approaching and the trade ideas for the LA Chargers have picked up. For the most part, fans want to see the Bolts add help on the defensive line to help the league's worst run defense.
There are other potential trades in the cards for the Bolts and one position that some want to see the Chargers target is the wide receiver position. As it stands right now, the two most notable players on the market are Brandin Cooks and DeSean Jackson, who just hit the trade block today.
The wide receiver position is always an interesting one to talk about as it often gets a tad overrated because it is a skill position. Let's not forget that it was not very long ago that we were debating whether the team should go offensive line or wide receiver with the 13th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
While both Cooks and Jackson might seem to make sense on paper, it really does not make sense to trade for either receiver.
Why the LA Chargers should not trade for Brandin Cooks or DeSean Jackson
Brandin Cooks is undoubtedly the better of the two receivers and still has a lot to offer to a great team. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Cooks is one of the most underrated receivers in the league. He was underrated before he was in Houston and now he is even more underrated.
The problem with a potential Cooks trade is the asking price for the Texans and the salary that the Chargers would have to pay. Benjamin Solak of The Ringer put together his potential trade packages for the trade deadline and had the Chargers trading both a second and third-round pick for Cooks.
Even a second by itself would be too much for Cooks considering the team is going to have to try and re-sign Mike Williams and just drafted a receiver in the third round in Joshua Palmer.
That is not the only hurdle in acquiring Cooks. Cooks' contract is also not friendly and is not worth taking on for the Chargers when they already have Keenan Allen and a potential new Mike Williams contract. Cooks only has one more year left on his deal guaranteed but would be a $15.5 million cap hit next season.
The Chargers would be much better off spending that $15 million and keeping picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. If they didn't trade a second-round pick for Julio Jones they are not going to trade a second-round pick for Brandin Cooks.
DeSean Jackson is an interesting situation as the cost to acquire him would not be much. He is on an expiring deal and realistically, the absolute most the Rams could get for him is a sixth-round pick. The Chargers are projected to have four compensatory picks in 2022, making this seem like a no-brainer.
The problem is that Jackson just isn't that good anymore. He is a big name and that often gets mistaken with talent but he has not been an impactful player in four years. Jackson turns 35 on December 1 and is one of the most injury-prone players in the league.
Does it really make sense to trade any sort of capital for a 35-year-old wideout who hasn't been impactful in years and will likely get hurt before the year is over? It is just a waste of resources.
The LA Chargers would be wasting two resources by trading for Jackson. Not only would they be trading a pick in the 2022 NFL Draft but they would also cut into the rollover cap for next season. The Chargers specifically set themselves up to have rollover cap for the 2022 offseason and Jackson would cut into around $3 million of that.
Sure, that may not seem like a lot, but that could be the difference between retaining someone like Williams or letting him walk. That $3 million could be the difference between signing a starter for cheap like Oday Aboushi. Sure, the Chargers have cap space next offseason but they also have 28 players that will be free agents next offseason. TWENTY-EIGHT. Jackson would ironically make it 29.
The potential chance of an upgrade is not worth it for the Bolts. In theory, Jackson would be a replacement for Jalen Guyton in the vertical role. The problem is that a) that role is already a small one as is and averages only three targets per game and b) Jackson hasn't been that good this season.
Jackson has made two big plays for the Los Angeles Rams this season and besides that he has done very little for the offensive mastermind that is Sean McVay. Do we really expect him to suddenly be much better for the Chargers? At 35 years old?
It is a miniscule upgrade at best for a role that plays such a small part in the overall scheme of things. I would much rather let Guyton sink this season and see what he has and address the position in the future.
By trading for Jackson, you are not allowing Guyton the chance to prove himself, instead giving snaps to a guy who won't be on the team in four months. How are they supposed to properly evaluate Guyton and the future of that role if that is the case?
Spend the draft capital on a defensive tackle. Trading for a receiver, particularly Cooks and Jackson, makes no sense for the LA Chargers.