2023 is a very important season for many within the Los Angeles Chargers franchise. After blowing a 27-point lead in their Super Wild Card Weekend matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, everyone was likely put on notice this offseason.
A loss like that can change the trajectory of a franchise. Being so close to advancing in the postseason only to have victory ripped away at the last minute is tough to stomach. It should also be a motivating factor because no one should want to experience that feeling again.
Nothing should be off the table when it comes to making upgrades to the roster. On paper, the Chargers have a very talented roster but there are inconsistencies on the field. A number of things could play into that but what Los Angeles needs to get to the next level is a better defensive performance.
Everyone has pointed out their need along the defensive line as they were torn up on the ground in 2022. The Chargers were last in yards allowed per carry and 28th in rushing yards allowed despite ranking 15th in rushing attempts faced.
Shoring that up will lead to more success and the ability to control the clock more. Bringing in versatile players that can help in that regard along with continuing to shore up the passing game would be ideal.
One player who could fit that bill is safety Kevin Byard of the Tennessee Titans. Under new management with Ran Carthon taking over as general manager, rumors have swirled that the Titans could look to move on from some more of their veteran players.
Byard was approached about taking a pay cut but declined. That could lead to Tennessee looking to trade the star safety to clear cap space and add more assets to round out the roster. Los Angeles could be a potential landing spot.
What could a trade between the Chargers and Titans look like? A suggested trade would be Los Angeles sending a 2024 third-round pick and wide receiver Joshua Palmer to Tennessee in exchange for Byard.
This is certainly an intriguing offer from the Titans’ standpoint. They get a premium selection on Day 2 in next year’s draft and a much-needed upgrade in the passing game. Palmer could slot right into their starting lineup behind Treylon Burks after showcasing his talent in an expanded role last season.
For the Chargers, Palmer has become expendable after spending their first-round pick on Quentin Johnston in the 2023 NFL Draft. Johnston can be the No. 3 option behind Mike Williams and Keenan Allen.
Upgrading their defense with a star in Byard would provide the Chargers with the best safety tandem in the NFL. He would pair with Derwin James as interchangeable pieces that can adapt to the opponent’s game plan. Byard could also have his contract amended before the team works out a new deal with Justin Herbert, which will be for huge money.