The logic used leading up to this trade.
Yesterday news broke that the team had traded away former all pro Desmond King to the Tennessee Titans and let’s just say fans where not pleased with it. In return the Chargers received a 6th round pick and many fans feel he was worth much more than a 6th round pick. King who was selected in the 5th round out of Iowa during the 2017 draft was approaching the last year of his rookie contract. During this time of turmoil and frustration surrounding the team who currently stand at 2-5, many wonder why or what was the front office thinking?
I believe many factors played into this decision leading up to the trade. First and foremost King did not have an option year on his contract and was set to hit the open market. Among others the team has 27 expiring contract to worry about during the offseason so the front office will have their hands more than full. Among those 27 expiring contracts 10 of them are either big name players or at least starters and or key contributors. The likelihood of being able to resign them all is nearly impossible and certainly not very economical. Some of the big name players include Melvin Ingram, Hunter Henry, Rayshawn Jenkins, Michael Davis, Forrest Lamp, Dan Feeney, and Denzel Perryman.
During last offseason when the team signed free agent slot corner Chris Harris Jr it was already the first sign of the writing being on the wall. Harris who signed a 2 year deal during the offseason totaling 17 million dollars was able to receive 7.5 of that as a signing bonus to help the cap space out along with another 2 million of that being a roster bonus he will receive next year. This is a very team friendly deal as the cap hit is only 3.75 million both this year and next. For a player of his caliber to only account for 3.75 mill against the cap is a rare thing. The team obviously views Harris as being just as good if not better than King even in his 30’s while King is in his prime. Even though so far on the season King has a 74 overall defensive grade for the season along with a 74.6 coverage grade compared too Harris who has just a 60.9 overall coverage grade. Keep in mind though neither one of them has played a full season.
My guess is that the front office knew they were going to lose a few of their upcoming free agents and since they signed Chris Harris they were willing and knowingly going to let King be one of them. It’s more than likley that if they had kept him and re-signed him it would be for minimally twice the cap hit of the Hariss contract. I wouldn’t blame the young cornerback for wanting to get paid as this might be his only chance to get a sizeable contract. This season is his largest payday to date at 1.1 million while he earned just 2.6 million ober his career thus far. When King went and put his frustrations out on social media and making it a public affair that he was unhappy with the amount of playing time he was receiving. This is a cardinal sin in the eyes of Tom Telesco as it serves as a distraction for the team much like the whole Melvin Gordon situation last year. What this team is going through right now having blown 17 point leads 4 weeks in a row the last thing they need is more distractions. So by all logical signs it made sense to get something for him while you can instead of just letting him play out the season and walking, getting nothing for him in return. The return being a 6th round pick did not exactly thrill people but this is a league that throws around draft picks like manhole covers… meaning not lightly.
On the Brightside of things the 6th round pick we got for him was actually a Jacksonville pick that Tennessee had previously acquired. So the pick will likely be a top 5 pick in the round rather than a mid to late one. Also I wouldn’t be surprised if one of their two 6th round selections is used for leverage in a package deal in order for the team to trade up for a higher pick or back into a certain round in one of the earlier rounds; say 2-4. Lets hope the extra selection is used for help along the line or in a trade to help us select a higher pick.