The NFL trade deadline is fast approaching and as a result, the NFL rumors are starting to swirl. For teams like the LA Chargers who want to make a playoff push, the trade deadline could be a saving grace to add talent where it is needed on the roster.
The Chargers historically don't make in-season trades but this year is different. It is very clear that the 2023 season is a must-win year for Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco, who have every reason to be more aggressive than in years past. Heck, Telesco uncharacteristically made several massive contract restructures in the offseason. His aggression could bleed into the 2023 season.
With Mike Williams out for the year and Quentin Johnston being disappointing through six weeks, many Chargers fans want to see the team add a wide receiver in some capacity. The Bolts would need to find someone on the trade market who makes sense logistically and monetarily. One such option is reportedly available from a bitter rival: Hunter Renfrow.
NFL Rumors: Hunter Renfrow is on the trade market and makes sense for the Chargers
Diana Russini of The Athletic reported that the Raiders are "trying to trade" Renfrow at the deadline this season. Renfrow, the once extremely valuable slot receiver, has been completely absent in Josh McDaniels' offensive game plans since he took over as the head coach.
This has lowered Renfrow's trade value but it does not mean that he can't be impactful still on the right offense. McDaniels of all people giving up on a player shouldn't be a death note for their career. It was not that long ago that Renfrow was a 1,000-yard receiver and he is still only 28 years old.
Adding a true slot receiver to the mix would take some of the burden off of Johnston early in his career. It would also allow Keenan Allen to continue moving around the formation and not just get stuck in the slot.
The price for Renfrow would likely be one of the late-round pick swap deals that NFL teams have been executing in recent weeks. The Chargers would likely send a sixth-round pick for a Raiders' seventh-round pick. Moving down 30-40 spots in the draft order is a fair price to pay for someone who could make a legitimate difference this season.
Renfrow would also give the Chargers some long-term cushion as well. There is a chance that Williams gets cut after the 2023 season because of his bloated cap hit and if Johnston isn't ready to step up the team is going to need another proven receiver for the 2024 season.
Renfrow certainly isn't cheap next season with a $13.7 million cap hit but that could ge restructured in a trade to lower the hit for the Chargers. Plus, the Bolts can comfortably get out of the contract if need be as Renfrow would only carry a dead cap hit of $5.5 million if the Bolts were forced to move on, per OTC. The 2025 and 2026 seasons are voided years on his deal.
As far as this year goes, the Chargers would just have to take on the remaining of Renfrow's base salary. If the team were to trade for him after Week 7 that would be a cap hit of $3.9 million and that is before any kind of restructure.
There are cheaper options on the market that the Chargers may pursue first. But if the team wants someone who can play next year as well then Renfrow may be the guy.