Years ago every team put their faith in one running back but in the modern NFL it's better to have two. The San Diego Chargers proved this for years but don't have that luxury anymore. Should they seek LeGarrette Blount from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Mike Tolbert and Vincent Jackson losses put pressure on Ryan Matthews
Everyone knows the offense of San Diego goes through Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers but his best success has come when he had great players around him. It was bad enough when he lost LaDainian Tomlinson back in 2009 but now he won't have star receiver Vincent Jackson or bruising back Mike Tolbert either. The Chargers front office tried to make sure they had weapons for Rivers like receivers Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal. However they left a glaring hole at running back with uneven youngster Ryan Matthews the only recognizable name. This could mean Rivers will have to pass more than ever behind a weakened offensive line trying to cover up a rebuilding defense. It's not a recipe for success. The best the San Diego Chargers can hope for is that Matthews can rise to his billing and carry the load as many had hoped. He was the 12th pick in the NFL draft and made it to the Pro Bowl last season as an alternate. However he does have a fumbling problem and didn't have to carry the ball too much with Tolbert on the roster. Should the Chargers think about finding him some help via trade?
Blount and Cedric Benson are two names that might pop up in NFL circles
The first name that comes to mind the Chargers could give a try is former Cincinnati Bengals runner Cedric Benson. While his time with the Chicago Bears was disastrous, Benson proved a reliable power back for the Bengals. His stats took a hit last season and many wonder if his body is wearing down from injuries. That's why LeGarrette Blount is a far more interesting option. His violent temper has gotten him in trouble many times since getting drafted but in that time his remarkable combination of athleticism and power makes him exactly what San Diego lost in Tolbert. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers turned heads when they spent a high draft pick on Doug Martin out of Boise State. Their reasoning was making sure quarterback Josh Freeman have as many weapons as possible, something they've repeated several times since then. Other more familiar with NFL business know the team has grown tired of Blount's issues and wanted insurance for when another problem comes. One solution they haven't tried yet is exploring the trade market. San Diego would likely have interest from the start. Blount is only 25 and built to take pro football-type hits. He could become a great compliment to Matthews and take pressure off Rivers.
The San Diego Chargers aren't strangers to big moves. They let traded Eli Manning for Philip Rivers, let Drew Brees go in free agency and let Mike Tolbert and Vincent Jackson go in free agency. The one thing they haven't tried to fix is leaving Ryan Matthews alone in the backfield. Cedric Benson is available. LeGarrette Blount wants to stay with Tampa Bay Buccaneers but they don't seem to have a future for him. A trade might work for both him and the teams.