NFL trades: Tennessee Titans acquire Chargers’ All-Pro CB Desmond King

By Matt Johnson
Oct 25, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers free safety Desmond King (20) slips away form Jacksonville Jaguars safety Daniel Thomas (20) on a first quarter punt return at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans are acquiring All-Pro cornerback Desmond King from the Los Angeles Chargers, in a potential trade that could shake up the NFL’s playoff picture.

Coming off an ugly loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, with the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday, the Titans struck a deal that could be monumental for their defense.

Related: NFL defense rankings – Examining top defenses for NFC and AFC Championship Games.

NFL trade deadline: Desmond King traded to Titans

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Titans will receive King and send a 2021 sixth-round pick to the Chargers.

King, who was inactive for Week 8, was put on the trade block in April. He earned All-Pro honors in 2018, but his play dipped a bit last season. Set to hit the open market at the end of the year, the 25-year-old is recognized as one of the best slot corners in the NFL.

Across 180 coverage snaps this season, per Pro Football Focus, King has surrendered 10 receptions and holds a 74.6 coverage grade. He will be replacing rookie Kristian Fulton, a second-round pick, who allowed 13 receptions in 111 coverage snaps this year with a 57.9 grade in coverage.

Tennessee’s defense just allowed Joe Burrow to throw for 249 yards and two scores in Week 8, leading to a 31-20 victory on Sunday. The Titans have played without top corner Adoree Jackson all year, leaving their secondary to allow nearly 270 yards per game.

Jackson enjoyed a breakout season in 2019, being targeted just 46 times in 392 coverage snaps with 30 receptions allowed. He returned to practice last week after missing time with a knee injury and could return in Week 9.

With Jackson and King in the secondary, Tennessee’s defense should significantly improve in the second half of the season.