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A.J. Smith ready to make deals in the draft

A.J. Smithangry

Chargers General Manager A.J.Smith has always enjoyed wheeling and dealing at draft time, and he says this year will be no exception.

We’re wide open,” Smith told U-T San Diego on Thursday. “We have been always since I’ve been here, and we’ve done everything. We’ve gone up in the attack. We’ve bailed out in the past, and we’ve stayed where we are. It depends on circumstance.”

The Chargers have all seven of their picks plus a compensatory pick in the seventh round, and Smith says he’s ready to go up or down to get value. The one thing he’s not willing to do, however, is rush to make a trade while they’re on the clock. Smith says executives on other teams know not to call him if there’s not time to think it through.

“Don’t bother with three minutes left or less,” Smith said, “to run some concocted idea that you may have because you’re ready to do something and you’re presenting your case. I’m not interested. I’ve been very consistent with that. I like [to trade], prior to a cut-off. I’ve had a few [offers] along the way from people who don’t understand, more so in the past. But when you’ve been on the job long enough and we all know each other, they pretty much know that ‘let’s just skip the Chargers. Don’t even make that call even though you’d like to do that. It’s too late.’”

So, other NFL general managers, Smith wants to hear your trade offers. But he doesn’t want to be rushed.