by Alex Poletti
Photo by Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Hoping their future franchise quarterback would fall past the Miami Dolphins, the Los Angeles Chargers watched their dreams of Tua Tagovailoa playing in a mid-size soccer stadium on Thursday night. Instead of drafting a legitimate quarterback or trying to build the rest of their team with the next pick, the Chargers opted to select a literal flaming pile of trash at sixth overall.
“We definitely could have taken a good quarterback or tried to fill some other holes in our team,” general manager Tom Telesco says. “Hell, Isaiah Simmons was still on the board. But we were so crushed that the Dolphins took Tua that we didn’t really care who we got. So we got no one. We went with a bunch of garbage lit aflame.”
The Chargers weren’t heavily invested in the Tanking-for-Tua sweepstakes, hoping to compete like they did in 2018, when they won 12 games. Instead, the season fell apart, leading to a 5-11 record. The bright light at the end of the tunnel, however, was the Alabama left-hander, who some experts were predicting would fall out of the top 10.
“We tried trading up with the Lions,” Telesco says. “We heard they were shopping the pick, and I’d be damned if the Dolphins got it instead of us. I offered my second-born child, but they were really looking for a first. I couldn’t part with that much, so I just had to hope.”
Despite being injured, Tagovailoa was still ranked as the best quarterback on multiple draft boards, though Heisman winner Joe Burrow was a lock for the first overall pick. Still, the promise of Tua proved too much for the Dolphins to pass up on, leading the Chargers to spend their pick in despair.
“This whole thing was a mistake,” Chargers owner Dean Spanos was heard muttering when he thought he had muted himself on Zoom. “We never should have moved to LA. We should’ve kept Philip Rivers. Burn it all, I don’t give a shit.”
The Dolphins aren’t quite sure where they will play their first round garbage pile, but many suspect that they may try it out at quarterback or on the offensive line. Sources close to the front office tell The Second Strings that the Chargers are trying to steal one of Philip Rivers’ kids and plug him in at the helm, hoping he does the same replacement-level job as his father.