As the NFL's trading deadline -- Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 4 p.m. ET -- approaches, we explore four explosive, albeit unlikely, possible deals.
Proposed trade No. 4:
Actually, the Chargers desperately need a center -- they've started four players at the position and placed two of them on injured reserve. Problem is, their best external options are probably Jeff Saturday and Matt Birk, who are retired and woefully undersized after drastic weight loss.
Let's send them the next best thing: a ferocious veteran running back who can put them over the top. Don't laugh. Through seven weeks, San Diego has the third-best point differential (plus-70) in the NFL. The Chargers think this is their year, and Lynch would thrust them into the frothy Super Bowl discussion.
At 28, he's not quite the beast he once was, but Lynch can still bring it. He's the Seahawks' leading rusher with 420 yards, and quarterback Russell Wilson (327 yards) is the only teammate close in that category.
Granted, this trade was much more plausible before Seattle jettisoned wide receiver Percy Harvin, sending the enigmatic playmaker to the Jets last Friday. Nevertheless, the Seahawks might not be done wheeling and dealing.
Lynch is still viable at 4.3 yards per carry, just over his career mark, but the Seahawks very possibly have considered parting ways with him after this season. They weren't happy with his training camp holdout. Seattle is paying Lynch $6 million this year, which prorated for a little more than a half season wouldn't be an awful hit for San Diego. The Seahawks would owe Lynch $7 million next year and he'd count $8.5 million against the salary cap. The Chargers, a little pressed for space, will find a way to make it work.
So this is house money for Seattle, a team that would be thrilled to get Oliver, a surprisingly effective rookie free agent out of Buffalo who is the leading rusher of the Chargers' injury-riddled running backs corps. The Seahawks are comfortable with Robert Turbin and Christine Michael as backup RBs. The salary swap is attractive because the Seahawks -- even after unloading Harvin -- are going to need all the space they can find to lock down Wilson.
The Seahawks may not be the devastating opponent they were a year ago, but they are still formidable. They signed defensive backs Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas to long-term deals and have a strong core in place on both sides of the ball. Moving on from Lynch before next year and finding a young set of replacement legs allows them to get into position for negotiations with their young, gifted quarterback.