Bait, not fishing bait, not hunting bait, but trade bait. What consists of bait? Well, let's see, a player of need for another team that has a player of need for your team is considered bait. A draft position that is higher then the position you are drafting at, or that another team would like to draft at is considered bait. Players you need that you are willing to give up draft picks for are considered bait.

Trades in the NFL are few and far between nowadays with the addition of free agency, most teams wait to see who is going to be free agents before they talk trades. They could just pick up a player of need at that time, plus trades affect the salary cap.

We first need to see how a trade would affect a salary cap before one can be made, according to the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). If a player is waived or traded before June 1st the remaining signing bonus that is not included in their salary accelerates and is included in the trading teams salary cap that year. "Acceleration occurs when a player is traded or waived and picked up by another team. The new team is not responsible for any of the original signing bonus. The team that waived or traded the player is responsible for the accelerated signing bonus. Meaning the Team that makes the trade still takes the hit on the salary cap."

So what good is trading a player if the team takes a hit off the trading persons salary, take Rodney Harrison for example if we were to trade him he would still count 4.37 million against this years Cap figure. So it would be in the best interest for the team to just release him right? WRONG. Even though we would still take a hit it would be in the best interest of the team to trade him for someone they could use, Like Kyle Turley for example, If we were to make a trade with the Saints swapping players, we would still take the Hit but we got something in return for a Pro Bowl safety and We kept him out of the AFC. If we cut him, he could sign with any team like the Oakland Raiders lets say.

Now here is the other dilemma say the player you want to trade is a player that either you have to trade or are going to let go. Most smart teams will not trade and wait for that player to become a free agent, therefore they are not picking up that players salary nor will they have that hit against their cap next year, they could sign him at a different salary maybe lower and with a smaller Bonus. See what I mean, the team would make out and they did not lose any players or Draft picks.

Now that we got all of that out of the way lets look and see what the Chargers have for Bait, for one they do have Harrison, most people believe he is gone from here but knowing Butler he is not likely to just let a player who was a Pro Bowler last year just walk Scott free and sign with what ever team he likes. You also have the 15th pick in the Draft, plus 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th round picks that you could use for trade. As for other players, there is Ray Lee Johnson, Vaughn Parker, Ryan McNeil, and others. Let's stick with Harrison and the draft picks since Harrison is our biggest bait.

Harrison, 1 year removed from the Pro Bowl, is noted as one of the best safeties in the league, he is a hard hitter who circles like a vulture waiting for its prey when receivers come over the middle. He is also a very good run stopper. He becomes bait since the Chargers changed their defensive scheme to the Cover 2 where speed is what they need more than a hard hitter, they need a cover safety, and Harrison is just not quick enough to play that spot in the Cover 2. So what can the Chargers get for him if they were to trade him?

Well, Kyle Turley is the first name that comes to mind, it is known that the Saints are thinking of dropping him for salary cap reasons. This would be a win, win for both the Chargers and the Saints. New Orleans needs help on Defense, they could get a player in Harrison who would come in and make and immediate impact for them. The Chargers would be trading a Pro Bowler for another Pro Bowler in getting Turley. They need help on the offensive line and by putting Turley back at Right Tackle and moving Parker over to Left Tackle would make an improvement on the offensive line with that one move.

Another Bait we have is the 15th pick, what if by chance the player is not there that the Chargers targeted with the 15th pick, they could always trade with a team like Tampa that does not have a 1st or a 2nd rounder for this year and get a player, or a pick (I don't see the Chargers trading away any chance of having a first round pick). They also could trade down to a team like New Orleans that has 2 first round picks, for either a player like Turley and their #1 or just a swap of first round picks. I don't see them trading for just a pick, the Chargers will stay in the first round unless there is just no one there they want and they can get a Veteran that has the ability to step right in, and has a few years still on a contract.

The Chargers have more bait in their lower Round picks; there are a few teams that do not have 2nd round picks that could use them, so you could pick up another 3 and a 4 since there will still be a lot of quality players available in those rounds (WR is deep this year as is DT and DE). There are several ways that the Chargers could move in this area and if they hold to form I look for Butler to pick up another 2nd or 3rd round pick.

Truth is as I said, Trades are not what they use to be in this day and age of free agency, but they are there to be had, anything is possible in the NFL especially if you're a fisherman like John Butler and you dangle the right bait.

Boltaholic can be reached at: Boltaholic

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