In late July, the Los Angeles Chargers opted to reward star edge defender Joey Bosa with a massive $78M guaranteed contract, firmly cementing his placement as the anchor to their defense for the foreseeable future. However, while one SoCal Pro Bowl pass rusher is all smiles, another has been left with a sour taste in his mouth.
The Athletic’s Daniel Popper has reported that three-time Pro Bowler Melvin Ingram is not practicing with the Chargers at the moment as “he is dissatisfied with his contract situation.”
Ingram is entering the final year of his contract, which is set to earn him a base salary of $14M in 2020, and eyeing long-term security attached to a massive payday. Problem is, the Bolts may be a bit apprehensive to commit to the former first-rounder, as he will be 32-years-old by the time his current contract expires.
This has led Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski to put together the top potential trade packages for Ingram, including one where the pass-rusher is shipped to the New York Giants in exchange for an intricate part of Big Blue’s offense.
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Giants Called on to Trade Evan Engram for Chargers’ Melvin Ingram
Would the Giants be willing to exchange vowels in order to bolster their questionable pass-rush? Sobleski certainly believes so, as he proposes the G-Men deal tight end Evan Engram and a 2021 sixth-round pick in exchange for Ingram and 2022 seventh-round pick.
Here’s Sobleski’s reasoning on why the Giants should pull the trigger:
The New York Giants entered the offseason with a significant need to improve their pass rush, but they didn’t do anything to address it other than retaining Markus Golden and Leonard Williams.
With $21.8 million in salary-cap space, the Giants still have plenty of wiggle room to address the problem if they choose to do so. Putting Ingram opposite Golden would give the Giants an impressive edge-rushing tandem after the team’s younger options failed to consistently apply pressure last season.
The Giants received an abundance of newfound salary-cap space upon the opt-out decision of left tackle Nate Solder, in return making the addition of Ingram more than plausible from a money perspective.
However, some may question committing that money to an older pass-rusher when a player such as Jadeveon Clowney, who is four years the junior of Ingram, still remains on the open market.
Yet, when you break things down to pure pass-rushing traits, Ingram is the clear winner. While Clowney is a well-rounded home wrecker from the defensive end position, the quick twitched Ingram is a head-hunter coming off the edge, outpacing Clowney in sacks 43 to 32.5 over the past five seasons.
Furthermore, Ingram’s pass-rush win rate when facing two-plus blockers of 22.5% ranked third in the NFL this past season, just behind teammate Joey Bosa and Texans star J.J. Watt, per PFF’s Pro Football Focus’ Neil Hornsby.
Do the Chargers Need Evan Engram When They Have Hunter Henry?
When healthy, Chargers starting tight end Hunter Henry is one of the very best in all of football at his position; sounds a lot like the guy the Bolts would receive in this theoretical deal. However, as Sobleski points out, Henry has the chance to walk next offseason, making the idea of adding Engram to Los Angeles’ receiving arsenal all the more intriguing.
Would the Chargers want Evan Engram in return? After all, tight end Hunter Henry is only 25 years old and will play on the franchise tag this fall.
Engram has been a disappointment since the Giants selected him 23rd overall in the 2017 NFL draft. He’s missed 14 games over his first three seasons because of injuries. But if he stays healthy, he’s highly athletic and has mismatch potential in any offense.
If New York is ready to move on from Engram, the Chargers should see him as a complementary piece to Henry for the upcoming campaign and an insurance policy if he leaves in free agency next offseason.
From a Giants perspective, losing Engram would certainly be a blow to their aerial attack. With that said, New York does have Kaden Smith waiting in the wings. The former Stanford standout posted an impressive 32 receptions and three touchdowns during his rookie campaign, this despite the fact that Smith didn’t record his first catch on the season until Week 10.
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