Los Angeles Chargers need to make a play for OBJ

The Bolts have had a quiet off-season and are probably better for it, but if they can get Odell Beckham Jr. in a trade for the right price, Tom Telesco must act.

Picture credit: Erik Drost

The reports that new Giants general manager Dave Gettleman is ready to put star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. on the trade block have steadily grown steam over the last few days and, if they're true, Gettleman's counterpart the Chargers needs to act.

Tom Telesco has backed himself as a wheeler-dealer when it comes to the trade market in the past and tended to steer clear of the sort of big, blockbuster trades that make headlines but given the new market in which the team operates, the Chargers need to sell themselves to Los Angeles and there are few players more 'Hollywood' than Odell Beckham Jr.

ESPN's NFL insider Adam Schefter has reported that the Giants are chasing two first-round picks for the receiver but given the overall mood at Giants HQ seems to be over the antics and trouble that accompany Beckham, there's an expectation that they may be more willing to move on from OBJ than that sort of price tag would suggest.

Are the Giants ready to part with OBJ?

There's no harm for the Giants in asking for a minimum two first-round picks to open the door and possibly trade away one of the best receivers in the game, but leaking that news feels more like an attempt to prise as much as possible from a desperate opponent than a realistic grab for a pair of first-rounders.

Given the current climate in the NFL, I'd be thinking a one-two punch with first and second rounders could be enough to bring New York and Gettleman to the table and if that's the price it takes to grab a star receiver and big-time personality, the Chargers need to pay it.

The Chargers currently have Keenan Allen at the top of their roster and on his day, when fit, Allen is a star pass-catcher. The problem has been his availability since being drafted into the league by the Chargers in 2013 with the 76th overall pick.

Since coming into the NFL, Allen has only played 54 games. He managed 15 in 2013 and 14 in 2014 but only eight in 2015 after suffering a sickening lacerated kidney in the act of scoring a touchdown.

Allen then suffered an ACL tear in the first game of the 2016 season after catching six passes for 63 yards in a blistering start against the Kansas City Chiefs.  Allen played all 16 games last season, scoring six touchdowns and going for 1,393 yards as he won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.

Allen & OBJ together

Long story short, Allen is good, but he has trouble staying on the field. Beyond that, the Chargers receiver corps is pretty light on pass-catching talent.

Alongside Allen, the Chargers have Mike Williams who they drafted out of Clemson in 2017 with the 7th overall pick. Williams looks an intriguing prospect but also had fitness issues during his first NFL season and may yet not pan out.

Behind Williams on the depth chart are Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin and a handful of camp bodies unlikely to make any real impact at the NFL level. Tyrell Williams was a handy deep-threat at times last season but is inconsistent while Benjamin may yet be cut after a disappointing output since he joined the franchise from the Cleveland Browns.

The Chargers depth chart would quickly look a lot more threatening with OBJ chucked into the mix and he would certainly provide Phillip Rivers with perhaps his most consistent passing option outside rising tight end Hunter Henry and Allen.

While the on-field benefit of bringing in Odell Beckham Jr. is fairly obvious, it is a far less tangible benefit that should bring GM Tom Telesco and the ownership to snare OBJ.

The Los Angeles factor

Simply put, the Chargers aren't in San Diego anymore and they're not the biggest drawcard in their market. In football terms, the Chargers are now competing in a market crammed with the LA Rams, UCLA, and USC while the Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers, Kings and Galaxy are all in town amongst a bunch of others.

The Chargers need to make a splash and there would be no bigger splash this off-season than pulling off a blockbuster, headline-grabbing trade with the Giants for Odell Beckham Jr.

A first and second round pick to make a splash and dominate a news cycle in Los Angeles as well as replace low-tier production from second or third string receivers with one of the very best pass-catchers in the game right now? 

Yes, please.

There's always going to be risk and downside attached to a mega-trade like dropping a handful of picks on a big-name wideout like Odell Beckham Jr., but from where I sit, the positives far outweigh the risks.

Over to you, Mr Telesco.

Do you think the Los Angeles Chargers should trade for Odell Beckham Jr. at the right price? Let us know in the comments below.

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