The San Diego Chargers, who clearly needed help on offense, have done a lot this off-season to fix it. The team hired offensive-minded Mike McCoy to be their head coach and have brought in Ken Whisenhunt and Frank Reich to coach up the offense.
The additions of Whisenhunt and Reich, who were with the Arizona Cardinals last season, suggest that the Chargers could possibly explore a trade for Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
A weapon like Fitzgerald could revive the Chargers’ struggling offense, which ranked 31st in yards last season, as well as help return Philip Rivers to Pro Bowl form.
Rivers has regressed over the past two seasons, largely due to the loss of weapons around him. After four straight seasons of at least 4,000 yards passing, Rivers threw for just 3,606 yards in 2012. He clearly missed throwing to Vincent Jackson, who left via free agency following the 2011 season, while Antonio Gates’ age appears to have caught up with him.
Fitzgerald scored a career-low four touchdowns and finished with just 798 yards receiving last season, the lowest total since his rookie year. Fitzgerald has said all the right things and has been loyal to the Cardinals throughout his career. But everyone wants to win, and the Cardinals, without a competent quarterback, are far from doing that.
The Cardinals are in rebuilding mode and new GM Steve Keim could use Fitzgerald to stockpile draft picks, much like the Kansas City Chiefs did in trading Jared Allen in 2008.
The Chargers would have to pay a hefty price to pry Fitzgerald away from Arizona, but the cost could be worth it. The future Hall-of-Famer is just 29 years old and has plenty of good years left in him. The Chargers could pair him with Malcom Floyd and the emerging Danario Alexander to form one of the top receiving corps in the league.
The Chargers must do everything in their power to help Rivers succeed, and if Fitzgerald is the answer, the team should pull the trigger no matter the cost.