Chargers trade WR Keenan Allen to Pierce for 4th round pick

The Los Angeles Chargers traded star wide receiver Keenan Allen to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick. The team announced Thursday.

The deal ends an era for the Chargers. Allen's tenure with the team preceded his move to Los Angeles, as he was originally drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Allen became the Chargers' all-time leader in receiving yards among wide receivers (Antonio Gates leads him on the overall list), played for the team during the transition from Philip Rivers to Justin Herbert at quarterback and from Mike McCoy. From Anthony Lynn to Brandon Staley as head coach.

That tenure would not last under Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh's arrival from Michigan coincided with a significant salary-cap crunch for the team this offseason, which has now spent its top two wide receivers. Needing more than $20 million in cap space, the Chargers released Mike Williams on Wednesday.

The Chargers were able to get under the salary cap for the new league year, but Allen presented another challenge due to a $5 million roster bonus coming Sunday. Pass rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack agreed to take pay cuts to remain with the team, but when the Chargers approached Allen about taking a pay cut on Thursday, he declined. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

That would leave Harbaugh and Herbert with a wide receiver corps led by 2023 first-rounder Quentin Johnston and Joshua Palmer. Barring another big move or a massive improvement, Herbert will enter the 2024 season with the worst arsenal of his career.

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INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 26: Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks on during warm ups before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at SoFi Stadium on November 26, 2023 in Inglewood, California.  (Photo by Caitlin Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Keenan Allen's Chargers career is over after 11 seasons. (Photo by Caitlin Mulcahy/Getty Images)

The Bears add a big WR to whatever QB they get in 2024

It's unclear who Pierce will start next season, but whoever it is, he'll have a respectable arsenal around him.

The Bears already landed a fresh start with former Philadelphia Eagles starter De'Andre Swift and Pro Bowl wide receiver D.J. Returns Moore.

Moore and Allen would form a pair of perennial 1,000-yard receivers, which the former has in mind:

As for who throws passes, Justin Fields is on the list. The trade market doesn't appear to be working, but that's not a good argument for keeping him as a starter next season.

The Bears drafted No. 1 this offseason. 1 spot and could very well use it on a quarterback, with USC's Caleb Williams the most notable option. Chicago could build an offense friendly to an incoming rookie quarterback or try to give Fields all the support he can get in a make-or-break season.

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