If I were a carpenter…

Remember when the Chargers traded Michael Vick for LaDainian Tomlinson and Drew Brees? Me neither. Although the 2001 blockbuster is often remembered in those terms, the actual trade swapped Vick for Tomlinson, Tim Dwight, Tay Cody and Reche Caldwell. Although Tomlinson has been sensational, it would have been nice if any of the other players had panned out. One of them deserves a second chance.

Tay Cody (5-foot-9, 180 pounds) was a third-round pick of the Chargers in 2001. He started 11 games as a rookie, finishing with 63 tackles and two interceptions. Unfortunately, things started turning sour in his second season. Firstly, Marty Schottenheimer was hired as head coach and brought with him a preference for big cornerbacks. Secondly, Cody sustained a toe injury that landed him on injured-reserve after just four games.

Cody was released in the first month of the 2003 season, having been caught up in a vicious numbers game. After drafting Quentin Jammer No. 5 overall in 2002, the Chargers used their first three picks in the 2003 draft on secondary players, just the second time in history that had happened.

For Cody, that lack of opportunity led to a lack of looks from other NFL teams. In 2005, he turned to the Canadian Football League to resurrect his career. He initially signed with the Edmonton Eskimos before being traded to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a multi-player swap.

In 2006, he proved how effective he can be when given a legitimate opportunity. He played in 15 games in his first full season as a Tiger-Cat, finishing with 65 tackles, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and six tackles on special teams. His efforts made him the Tiger-Cats' nominee for both Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

Is that enough to prompt General Manager A.J. Smith to give Cody a second chance? It should be. The Chargers are in dire need of depth behind the top trio of Jammer, Drayton Florence and Antonio Cromartie. Cody would bring an experienced presence to the dime back position while bolstering depth and contributing on special teams.

Plus, re-signing Cody would further justify the Tomlinson trade…in case L.T.'s 111 career touchdowns weren't enough.

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