Fonoti trade scenarios becoming clearer

Four teams have expressed interest in San Diego Chargers left guard Toniu Fonoti and no AFC West team is allowed in the bidding for the services of the road grader. A fifth team has dropped out of the running – for now.

A few short weeks ago, Toniu Fonoti had a procedure to insert a plate in his hand in hopes of causing his broken third metacarpal to heal faster, injured in practice the week before.

"The idea was that his hand would heal quicker and make him closer to 100 percent sooner," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said at the time.

A week later he skipped the New England trip in order to get a second opinion on his hand and wound up having a second surgery instead of returning to the field.

"San Diego is NOT happy he had surgery and wanted him to play through the hand injury and take treatment every week," said a source close to the situation.

That coupled with various incidents have made the Chargers question his desire to help the team reach its ultimate goal.

In response, they are seeking to make a deal.

"Tampa Bay, Miami, New Orleans, and San Francisco are hot for him," added the source.

It should come as no surprise that Hudson Houck, who coached him to prominence last year, covets the big man and is strategically lobbying for the Dolphins to make the deal.

As the Houston Texans made changes to their line this week, they are off the board pending the results of the weekend's games.

The problem is teams trading for him will not be willing to give up much since his contract ends this season.

"The Chargers want a fourth round pick yet are more likely to receive a sixth with a conditional higher pick (round three or four) if the team that trades for him can re-sign him at the end of the year," the source explained.

No AFC West team is allowed in the bidding for his services. The Chargers are smart enough to know that a mad Samoan would not be all smiles if the two teams faced off at the end of the season.

Oakland has reportedly shown interest and if they are locked out of this bidding they may seek to sign him as an unrestricted free agent with the hopes of putting him next to Robert Gallery.

Over the next week, things are expected to heat up and it is virtually a certainty that Fonoti will be playing elsewhere when he is fit.

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