The LA Chargers and Arizona Cardinals have not been trade partners very often.
The LA Chargers and Arizona Cardinals are two of the oldest teams in the NFL but have not done very much business together as trade partners. Since 1994, the Chargers and Cardinals have only conducted two trades with each other.
The last trade between the two teams was in 2013, which happens to be the best trade that the LA Chargers have ever made with their Arizona counterparts.
In an ongoing series here at Bolt Beat, we are trying to pin the best trade that the Chargers have made with every other NFL franchise. Today, it is the Cardinals’ turn.
The LA Chargers’ best trade ever with the Arizona Cardinals:
2013 38th overall pick (Manti Te’o)
2013 45th overall pick (Kevin Minter)
2013 110th overall pick (Ryan Nassib)
The best trade between the two franchises is not particularly exciting but there was some hope at the time that the Chargers could have snagged the best defensive player in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
That was not the case, but the Chargers still made a solid addition to their defense in Manti Te’o and the other prospects that were selected with their original picks did not come back to burn the team.
The Bolts traded a fourth-round pick in the draft to move up seven spots and select Te’o, which really is not that big of a price. Despite his ongoing off-field narratives, Te’o was an extremely talented linebacker in college at Notre Dame and could have translated into quite the solid NFL player.
He definitely was serviceable for the Chargers in his first three seasons. He never played more than 13 games in a season for the Bolts but in his third season he was trending towards 100 combined tackles if he would have played a complete season.
His career lasted four years with the Bolts and he went on to have another serviceable season as a starter with the New Orleans Saints and has since been reduced to a rotational depth backer that probably won’t be in the league in 2020.
There is a notable trade between the Cardinals and Chargers that is remembered for all of the wrong reasons. The Cardinals traded the second overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft to the Bolts for two first-round picks, a second-round pick, Eric Metcalf — who is one of the greatest one-year wonders in team history — and Patrick Sapp.
And with that selection, the Chargers drafted the worst bust in franchise history and one of the biggest busts in NFL history, Ryan Leaf, one pick after Peyton Manning was selected and had a completely different career.
That obviously was not going to make the cut for the best trade by the Chargers, although it was fantastic for the Cardinals, who got all of that in return for moving down one spot.