It is no secret the Los Angeles Chargers have been looking for a young quarterback throughout the off season. The team worked out a number of candidates before the NFL draft in April 2017. The latest candidate was Robert Griffin III who worked out with the Bolts on Tuesday July 25. However, one day later the Chargers finalized a trade with the Buffalo Bills for quarterback Cardale Jones in exchange for a late round conditional pick in a later draft.
The Bills drafted Jones in the fourth round in 2016 from of Ohio State University, where he played with Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa. In 2014, Jones was the third quarterback in the depth chart, but both quarterbacks got hurt before the Big-10 championship versus Michigan. The 24 year old led the Buckeyes to a National Championship victory. After the season, Jones decided to continue his collegiate run, but didn’t have the same kind of success.
Last season Jones played under then interim head coach for the Buffalo Bills, Anthony Lynn. As the new Chargers head coach, Lynn has nothing but praise for Jones.
“Cardale is a good young talent, and he’s going to add competition behind Philip Rivers,” Lynn said, via Chargers.com.
Lynn went on to say, “He’s the type of quarterback you want waiting on the runway. He’s going to have the opportunity to come on the field and compete. Cardale is someone we think can be developed.”
Bolts quarterback Philip Rivers is 36 years old, which means father time can catch up to him at any point. For now, the Chargers do not seem to have a replacement ready. Rivers has started every game for the past 11 seasons, but no player is indestructible.
Jones will have a good opportunity to learn under a pro bowl quarterback like Rivers. He will have to compete with Kellen Clemens, Mike Bercovici, and Eli Jenkins for the backup spot. It is more than likely that Coach Lynn will only keep two quarterbacks. Jones should be the favorite behind Rivers because Lynn, who also raved about his athleticism, intelligence, and arm strength, has coached him before.
If Jones takes advantage of being under his former coach and becomes a leader at the quarterback position, then he could be the heir apparent to Rivers. The battle between Jones and Clemens will start Sunday July 30 at training camp in Carson. One thing is certain; Lynn understands he needs to find a backup quarterback before it’s too late.