- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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With ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen reporting today that the San Diego Chargers are shopping cornerback Antonio Cromartie in a trade for a running back, the question was asked by Tweeters LiamHatton, K_CanadaJr, bossmagglio, JonnyWhiting and HughG if a swap involving Laurence Maroney might be a realistic option.
It's often difficult to project if a trade like that would work without the knowledge of what each team thinks about the player.
But one thought came to mind, and it was to put the Wes Welker test on the possibility.
As Bill Belichick has mentioned in recent years, part of the reason the Patriots traded for Welker was that they struggled covering him in games. So in this case, here is how Maroney has fared against the Chargers:
In the divisional round of the playoffs at San Diego, he rushes five times for 5 yards
Totals 77 yards on 15 carries (5.1 avg.) in the second game of the season, in Foxboro
In the AFC championship game in Foxboro, he rumbles 122 yards on 25 carries (4.9 avg.) with one touchdown
Inactive due to injury
ANALYSIS: Maroney's performance in the AFC title game against San Diego was one of his best and was part of a stretch that was the high point of his tenure with the Patriots. So Chargers general manager A.J. Smith has seen Maroney at his best, although that won't overshadow the fact that Maroney -- in part because of injuries -- hasn't consistently been what many expected since he was selected 21st overall in 2006. Both Maroney and Cromartie enter the last year of their contracts and would be restricted free agents in an uncapped 2011 season, so that wouldn't be much of a factor. If the Patriots were interested in pulling something like this off, my initial instinct is that they would have to add something to the mix.