Matt Rhule became the first coach fired this NFL season after the Carolina Panthers started with a 1-4 record and now asset-hungry teams are looking at the Panthers with wide grins on their face. The LA Chargers should be among those teams.
The Chargers are coming off of the most aggressive offseason in recent franchise history and should continue that aggression into the season. Los Angeles has had to deal with quite a lot of adversity this season and if they can supplement the roster for cheap via a trade then it is a no-brainer.
When looking at possible trade targets from the Panthers, the Chargers have to look for expendable players on cheap deals that are either expiring after this season or after the 2023 season. Carolina is not going to trade someone under contract for 3+ years for cheap and the Chargers don't have the means to bring in a larger salary.
With those parameters in mind, as well as keeping in mind what the Bolts would actually want to add, there are two players from the Panthers that could potentially make sense for LA in a trade.
The 2 Panthers the Chargers should call about for a trade:
1. Laviska Shenault
The Panthers traded a seventh-round pick and a future sixth-round pick for Laviska Shenault and they would likely get less than that if they were to trade him before the deadline. The Chargers could likely get Shenault for a future sixth-round pick, which is not that bad considering how Tom Telesco has traditionally drafted in the later rounds.
The Chargers need receiver help with Keenan Allen struggling to return from a hamstring injury and Josh Palmer having a disappointing season. The Bolts are one more injury away from the receiving corps being awfully thin with Jalen Guyton also out for the year.
Shenault does not replace the top-end speed that Guyton offered but the Chargers have shown that they are not really targeting speedsters at the wide receiver position. Instead, the Chargers may look to add a cheap, cost-effective young receiver that is under contract for two more years.
Shenault fits that billing and he has a lot of potential in a potential Chargers passing attack. He has spent most of his time in the slot in his career, which would fit nicely in LA, but has also shown the ability to play out wide when needed as well.
Teams have traded players that they just traded for in the past and if Shenault was a Matt Rhule guy then it makes sense to move him for something if Carolina is going to blow the operation up anyway.
2. Cory Littleton
Cory Littleton has not been great since he left the Los Angeles Rams but he is in the last year of a cheap contract and would provide depth at inside linebacker. While the two did not cross paths on the Rams, Littleton and Brandon Staley have that Rams connection, and as we have seen before with Staley, that is valuable.
The price for Littleton would be a seventh-round pick and quite frankly, the Chargers might even be able to pull off a trade like the Eagles and put protections on the pick. At worst, LA would trade a future seventh in a year they know they will get compensatory picks anyway.
With Kyle Van Noy playing on the edge until Joey Bosa returns, the Chargers could get value out of a veteran linebacker to add depth and experience to a linebacking room that is relatively thin and inexperienced outside of the top two.