NFL San Diego Chargers

San Diego Chargers: Ryan Mathews Should Have Been Released Or Traded If Arrest Reports Were True

Ryan Mathews San Diego Chargers

Christopher Hanewinckel – USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers had high hopes for running back Ryan Mathews when they completed a trade with the Miami Dolphins to move up 16 spots in the 2010 NFL Draft and select him with the No. 12 pick.

A false report on said that Mathews was arrested at a San Diego night club on Sunday. If these reports were true and Mathews was found to be guilty of a crime, San Diego should have released or traded him.

Mathews ranked 13th in rushing touchdowns among 320 players who scored a rushing TD, ranked 22nd in yards per attempt and 25th in rushing yards per game out of 47 players who had enough attempts to qualify in 2010.

In 2011, Mathews had his best season when he ranked 12th in both yards per attempt and rushing yards per game among 53 players who qualified. Mathews also ranked 18th in rushing touchdowns out of 323 players.

The 2012 season was a struggle for Mathews as he missed four games with injuries for the second time in three years. Mathews ranked 23rd in yards per game and 32nd in yards per attempt among 44 players who qualified. Mathews was also tied for last among players who had a rushing touchdown, setting a career low with one.

If Mathews was found guilty and San Diego decided to release or trade him, there would have been a possibility of adding a free agent RB.

The Denver Broncos released Willis McGahee last month and the Atlanta Falcons released Michael Turner three months ago. McGahee ranked 11th in yards per game, 17th in yards per attempt and had four rushing touchdowns in 10 games before he was injured last season.

Turner played with San Diego from 2004-2007 and is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-low 3.6 yards per attempt, but he had 10 rushing touchdowns on fewer attempts per game than Mathews in 2012.

McGahee will be 32 in October and Turner is 31, so it would have been a short-term solution, but one of them could have split attempts with Danny Woodhead or Turner being the third down back/goal line RB.

Mathews has one year left on his contract after the 2013 season, but thankfully for him the arrest reports were false, and he can focus on improving from last year.