The Los Angeles Chargers announced late Wednesday their first trade since Sept. 5, 2015, acquiring QB Cardale Jones from the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a conditional draft choice.
The trade reunites Jones with Anthony Lynn, who coached the quarterback last season with the Bills.
So, what was the impetus behind the trade?
“Cardale is a good young talent, and he’s going to add competition behind Philip Rivers,” Lynn said shortly after news broke. “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.”
Jones notably took the field in last year’s season finale when Lynn served as Buffalo’s interim head coach. The QB threw for 96 yards while completing six of his 11 attempts. While it was good for the youngster to get his feet wet, Lynn cautions nobody should look too much into that performance.
“He only played a quarter. He didn’t play a whole lot, and that was a tough situation for everybody. The team had just fired the head coach three days before, so it was hard on everybody. He wasn’t even supposed to play in the game, but I thought we might as well put him in for a quarter.”
Jones boasts a number of unique tools that caught Lynn’s eye during the draft process. Eventually, Buffalo picked the Ohio State star in the fourth-round.
“He has a strong arm and is accurate down the field. He can make every throw in the book. He can pick up the offense, and he’s more mobile than people give him credit for.”
Lynn went on to rattle off a number of impressive stats from Jones’ time with the Buckeyes. However, there is one that stands out above all else.
“When he started, the team didn’t lose. You’re talking about 11 starts and he went undefeated in all of them. He never lost a game. Now, he did get benched but that’s because he didn’t fit the style of system their coach wanted. But I think that benefited him because he learned from it. He was able to learn from the system they wanted, and he’s able to do certain things that mobile quarterbacks can do because he did them throughout college. So he’s coming in here, and he’ll have a chance to compete for a spot.”