Before I start, I want to qualify this completely by accepting this is unlikely. The kind of suggestion I'm about to make is usually restricted to Madden '10 or the morning coffee break. However, I found this interesting when reading an online mailbag held by the San Diego Union Tribune:
"I think the trade with Seattle might be a very complex and rewarding one for
the Chargers. I think a trade up in the 1st round might be in the works and
could be involved in the Whitehurst deal - if Charlie chooses Seattle."
It's well publicised that the Seahawks have shown interest in San Diego's third choice quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. We're led to believe he's mulling over a decision to sign for Seattle or the Arizona Cardinals. It got me wondering what type of complex trade could be possible as suggested above, so afford me the opportunity to 'think out loud' so to speak and raise this unlikelihood.
Even if Whitehurst agrees to sign for Arizona instead of Seattle and the Cardinals sign an offer sheet - the Chargers have a chance to match it. If a more attractive trade offer is on the table from the Seahawks, they are well within their rights to equal Arizona's offer and keep Whitehurst. Seattle and San Diego would then be free to make a trade involving the quarterback.
The Seahawks own the 6th and 14th overall picks in round one. San Diego owns the 28th overall pick. We'll presume Whitehurst carries a third round value (considering his tender and the possibility Arizona were willing to pay that via the offer sheet). Looking at the trade value chart, Seattle's #14 pick is worth 1100 points. San Diego could package #28 (660 points), Whitehurst (third round value, approximately 200 points) and their own third round pick #91 (136 points) to move up and take Seattle's #14.
This would put the Chargers in position to potentially draft a running back like C.J. Spiller, a cornerback like Joe Haden, a nose tackle like Dan Williams or a pass rusher like Jason Pierre-Paul. They would also be well placed to possibly review the offensive line or even entertain a wide receiver like Dez Bryant. These are all areas of need for San Diego and the extra cost of paying 14 places higher in round one is offset by the release of LaDainian Tomlinson's contract and trade of Antonio Cromartie. It wouldn't be a costly move either - surrendering only a third round pick and your third choice quarterback.
Why would the Seahawks entertain such a move? If they've decided that they simply must have Brandon Marshall and a second round pick won't get it done, they face the prospect of spending the #6 to sign an offer sheet or working out a trade with Denver that involves the 14th overall pick. If Denver would be willing to take the #28 pick (and they may prefer to do so considering the cost of owning two first round picks at #11 and #14) then the Seahawks would essentially still be getting Marshall - only with Whitehurst and a third round pick thrown in for good measure. Seattle currently does not possess a selection in round three.
Meanwhile, the Broncos get the first round pick they cherish and can move on from the Marshall era - clearly something they desperately wish to do despite a number of reports to the contrary recently.
Of course, trades like this are notoriously rare. It's a bit too precise in it's formulation and so much has to happen for it to get off the ground. Is it realistic? In fairness - probably not. However, there's some method behind the madness. I think it's an idea that benefits all parties - there's no absolute winner at this stage but everyone would be satisfied. I'm prepared for news to break seconds after I publish this idea revealing Whitehurst has agreed a deal with Arizona and San Diego will not match his offer. Still, it's an interesting talking point. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.