It was recently that the LA Chargers could be open to trading CB Desmond King. Should the Green Bay Packers pick up the phone?
An underrated need for the Green Bay Packers this offseason is the cornerback position. Despite spending a decent amount of draft capital on the position over the years, there still some uncertainties as we enter the 2020 season. And this becomes even more true in 2021.
Of course, Jaire Alexander has the potential to be a future All-Pro, but after him, we run into some question marks. For one, Kevin King has an injury history and he will be a free agent after the upcoming season. And while we saw the emergence of Chandon Sullivan, we still don’t know if he can continue to play at that level in 2020.
Meanwhile, Josh Jackson struggles to see the field and although Ka’dar Hollman has popped in the preseason, he still remains a relative unknown. And as always, injuries are always a possibility.
When it comes to addressing this need, naturally, one avenue that they could take is the draft. However, they certainly have other positions to fill such as receiver, tackle, and linebacker among others. Not to mention that waiting until the draft is always a bit of gamble since we don’t know who will even be available when Green Bay is on the clock.
Another option, of course, is free agency and potentially bringing back Tramon Williams, but that is likely a move that they will make after the draft if it is still necessary.
But now there appears to be a third option on the table as it was recently reported by Daniel Popper of The Athletic that Los Angeles Chargers cornerback, Desmond King, is a player that could very well be available via trade.
King was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft out of Iowa where he came away with 14 interceptions during his final three seasons, including eight in 2015 alone.
With the Chargers, he has appeared in 47 of 48 games during his first three NFL seasons and he was even named an All-Pro in 2018. That year he would record three interceptions, 10 pass breakups, 2 fumble recoveries, 62 total tackles, and opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of only 87.1 when targeting him according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
Admittedly though, King had his struggles in 2019 and overall it was a down season for him. With Los Angeles having a loaded secondary with plenty of options, King has apparently fallen out of favor and that is what makes him expendable.
If the Green Bay Packers did in fact acquire King, he would immediately step in as the team’s primary slot corner which is where he has played most of his NFL career. With Williams still unsigned, at the moment it appears that the nickel corner role is Sullivan’s for the taking. However, King certainly has a more impressive track record.
And as I mentioned above, especially when it comes to the Packers’ secondary, there is no such thing as too much depth.
So if the Green Bay Packers are actually interested, what would it take to land King?
Well for starters, King’s cap hit in 2020 is only $2.2 million which is good news for Green Bay given that they just do not have much spendable cap space this offseason. With that said, King is in the final year of his rookie deal so if the Packers don’t give him a new contract after making the trade, there is certainly the possibility that he is gone after the 2020 season.
However, with King not having a controllable contract, that will help drive the price down. In my opinion, if Green Bay can acquire King for a Day 3 pick, then it is certainly worth considering as he should be able to step in and make a much more immediate impact than any fifth-round selection would.
Additionally, Green Bay does also have another bargaining chip which is Lane Taylor. This is the final year of Taylor’s deal with the Packers and many have speculated that they would move on from him this offseason in order to free up roughly $4 million in additional cap space. And it just so happens that the Chargers could use more help on the offensive line.
Considering that the Packers have a need at this position, it shouldn’t cost much to get the trade done, and acquiring a proven cornerback prior to the draft will provide them with more flexibility to address other positions, this is certainly a move worth considering.
But having said all of that, it’s not a move I’m necessarily expecting to happen. Even if it does make sense.
All stats and contract info courtesy of Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, and Spotrac