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Should the Chargers make Melvin Ingram available for trade?

The 2021 budget may be too tight to find a new deal for No. 54.

Oakland Raiders v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The decision to sign Joey Bosa to a record-breaking — and potentially bank-breaking contract — extension all but solidifies the expectation that Melvin Ingram will not be returning to the LA Chargers in 2021. While the latter is still one of the best pass-rushers in the league, he has not played up to his contract numbers over the las two seasons and I highly doubt he’ll take any sort of a team-friendly deal to stick around.

Ingram is a phenomenal human being, but he’s also one of the most confident, swagger-filled players at the same time. He’ll go where he believes he’ll get what he deserves, and I don’t blame him in the slightest should that come to fruition.

But what if the Chargers did not let him get to that point? Why prolong the inevitable when you could get some value in return? The idea of trading Ingram has been tossed around on occasion this offseason and the chance of it happening only got higher with the Bosa’s latest deal.

So what would a trade look like right now? What is he really worth as a player at a premiere position while also being over 30 years old? Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox believes the Chargers could acquire multiple picks in return.

In his latest article offering a single trade idea for each NFL team, Knox has the Bolts working a deal with the Seattle Seahawks that would send a 2021 third-round pick an a 2022 third in return for King Mel.

“While Ingram is still a very productive defender when healthy, he’s entering the final year of his contract and may not be back in 2021,” says Knox. “To maximize their value, the Chargers should target a contender with a need in the pass-rushing department. The Seahawks, who produced just 28 sacks in 2019, fit the bill. Unfortunately, Seattle already parted with their 2021 first- and second-rounders, so Los Angeles may have to take some spread-out compensation in return.”

“A couple of future middle-round picks, however, could be worth more than losing Ingram for nothing next spring.”

Earlier this offseason, the Baltimore Ravens were able to trade for defensive end Calais Campbell, who is still at the top of his game, for a single fifth-round pick. Marcus Peters, one of the top corners in the league this past season, was acquired for a young player and a fifth-round pick, as well. That’s a fairly old veteran and a younger star traded for very similar packages and I have to think Ingram lands somewhere around the same value.

A third and a fourth actually sounds great compared to some of the trades we’ve seen recently. I think that’s a huge win for the Chargers if something like that would work out.

But what do you all think? Should Ingram get re-signed? Should he walk, or should the team maximize what they can in return for his services?