Many fans are hoping that the LA Chargers make a trade before the NFL trade deadline on November 2. The biggest need for the Bolts is someone who can help the terrible run defense, although there are players on the market that also make sense for the team.
While the team has already addressed two other needs by signing Andre Roberts and Dustin Hopkins — and respectively cutting K.J. Hill and Tristan Vizcaino — there is still some doubt that the Chargers will actually make a move.
General manager Tom Telesco is not known for being very aggressive, especially during the season. Telesco has made trades in the offseason, such as swapping Russell Okung for Trai Turner and has made draft-day trades as well. In-season deals, though, are few and far between.
Every in-season trade that the LA Chargers have made under Tom Telesco:
Traded Desmond King to the Tennessee Titans for a sixth-round pick, 2020
Desmond King was meant to be a critical part of the LA Chargers defense as the slot corner but he just could never re-find his All-Pro form from 2018. Not only was King disappointing, there seemingly were unreleased locker room issues that led to him being a healthy scratch.
With King still having value as a recent All-Pro, it made sense to cut ties with him to get an asset and get the potentially bad locker room presence off the team. It was the right move for the Chargers to make as they would have received a compensatory seventh-round pick in 2022 if they simply kept him and let him walk in free agency.
Traded Dontrelle Inman to the Chicago Bears for a conditional seventh-round pick, 2017
Telesco pulled off a very similar trade three years earlier by capitalizing on the potential of Dontrelle Inman and trading him to the Chicago Bears for a seventh-round pick. It is the kind of move that flies under the radar and could be great for either side. If the Chargers land a stud with that pick it is more than worth it. If the Bears get actual production from Inman then that is worth a seventh.
It was a solid deal for Chicago as Inman put up decent numbers with the Bears. In eight games played Inman caught 23 passes for 334 yards with a touchdown. Not bad for giving up a seventh-round pick.
Meanwhile, the Chargers drafted Justin Jackson with that selection. Win-win!
Traded Jeremiah Sirles to the Minnesota Vikings for a sixth-round pick, 2015
Another trade, another instance in which the LA Chargers are trading away a player for a late-round pick, which is the opposite of what fans want the team to do this year. The Bolts traded Sirles, an offensive lineman, to Minnesota early in the season on September 5.
Sirles ended up starting 10 games with the Vikings in 2015 while the 2016 sixth-round pick turned into Derek Watt. While Watt is not a big name, the Chargers landed an impactful fullback with the selection they received for Sirles. Another hit!
Traded 2015 seventh-round pick to the Dallas Cowboys for Sean Lissemore, 2013
The only in-season trade in which the LA Chargers traded a pick for an asset came all the way back in 2013 when Telesco acquired defensive tackle Sean Lissemore from Dallas. It is the exact position the Chargers need this season, so that could be a sign.
Dallas was switching schemes that season and was able to get something for a player that did not fit on their scheme. The Chargers traded a pick two years in advance and the pick did not turn into anything special. Dallas drafted linebacker Mark Nzeocha with the pick that the Chargers traded.
With an estimated four compensatory picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, the LA Chargers have every reason to repeat history and trade for a defensive tackle. However, as you can see by the shortlist of in-season trades by Telesco, it probably isn't happening.