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FutureStarr@LosAngeles @Chargers Save $26 Million in Cap Space
Los Angeles faces many difficult decisions this offseason, but one that could have the biggest effect is their salary cap situation. According to Over The Cap's roster calculations, they are $20.5 million over their spending threshold.
The Chargers can save a combined $26 million in cap space by restructuring the contracts of Joey Bosa and Joey Mack. Doing so helps the team become more cap compliant, freeing up some room for other moves.
Los Angeles Chargers are nearing finalizing a contract extension for defensive end Joey Bosa. ESPN reports the deal will pay him $135 million over five years, breaking the previous record set by former Browns defensive end Myles Garrett's five-year, $125 million extension which was signed just weeks ago.
This contract boasts an incredible $102 million in guaranteed money - the highest ever amount paid to a defensive player. That's exactly the same number Chicago Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack earned last season.
Bosa, who will turn 25 before his rookie contract ends next year, has already demonstrated his potential as an elite edge rusher. In his first NFL season he recorded 25 quarterback hits and nine sacks - earning him Defensive Player of the Year honors.
He could potentially achieve even greater success in his second and third seasons if he stays healthy. Unfortunately, this season has been difficult due to a groin injury that required surgery; he has missed at least two games due to this issue.
If he remains healthy, there's no reason why the Chargers shouldn't offer him a long-term extension that could make him the highest paid defensive player in NFL history. Despite COVID's related economic downturn, they have enough salary cap space next year to do so.
Restructuring a player's contract is an excellent way to free up salary-cap space. This strategy works especially well for high-paid players such as Bosa and Mack, who require significant restructuring of their contracts in order to convert part of their salaries into signing bonuses which can then be used to clear space from the cap.
In addition to freeing salary-cap space, reworking contracts allows teams to void or add years to their deals in order to save even more money. This is an efficient way for teams to utilize their cap space wisely and it is one of the simplest methods this offseason for freeing up extra cap room.
According to Ian Rapoport, the Los Angeles Chargers are expected to acquire Chicago Bears defensive end Khalil Mack in a trade, subject to physicals and contract restructuring. The three-time First Team All Pro is expected to join Joey Bosa as one of the NFL's premier pass-rush tandems.
Mack has been a star for Chicago since he forced a trade from the Raiders in 2018, signing a six-year, $141 million deal that made him the NFL's highest paid defender at the time. His contract runs through 2024.
However, the Raiders could restructure his contract in order to free up cap space this season. According to NFL rules, teams cannot include cash or room in trades; however, they have the option of restructuring a player's contract by converting his salary into a signing bonus.
Recently, this has become a common practice among teams like the Jaguars and Ravens to free up some cap space by trading for players without using their draft picks. If the Raiders can restructure Mack's deal, they could use the money to acquire one or two younger players to build up their future roster.
In addition to Mack, the Raiders are receiving a second-round pick and sixth-round pick in 2023 as compensation. This gives them more flexibility in the future to move on from Mack if desired.
The Raiders could potentially restructure Mack's contract and take on some dead cap in 2022. This would cost them $24 million during that year, but it could be worth it if they can free up enough cap space this season to sign another veteran free agent.
Alternatively, the Raiders could trim some key players and use that extra cap space to sign Mack to an extension. Lawson, a 2016 first-round pick, could be an intriguing target in this scenario.
Buffalo Bills could potentially acquire Mack, but they would need to find a way to trade him for a draft pick. Unfortunately, they don't have much cap room and their depth at edge rusher is lacking.
The Los Angeles Chargers made a wise decision by re-signing wide receiver Keenan Allen. Allen has established himself as one of the NFL's premier route runners and remains an effective target for quarterback Justin Herbert. Last season, Allen posted 752 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games.
He was an integral part of the Chargers' comeback victory in the AFC Championship Game, hauling in four receptions for 66 yards against the New York Jets. This contract extension could keep Allen with the Chargers through 2020.
Allen, despite his age, remains an invaluable asset for the Chargers. He fits perfectly in the slot and has the potential to make plays out wide.
Even though Allen's contract is set to expire after 2024, the Chargers have the option of restructuring it for $26 million in cap space. Doing so would provide them with greater financial freedom to sign free agents and restructure other contracts as needed.
The Chargers must make this move because their projected salary cap overrun is $20.3 million, as reported by OverTheCap. As such, Tom Telesco will need to make tough decisions this offseason such as parting with Allen or making him a cap casualty.
The Chargers need more speed at receiver, which Allen can provide. He's also an ideal fit for the offense in the slot position. Furthermore, they should select a pass-catcher in the draft so Justin Herbert can better connect with his weapons downfield.
If Allen isn't released, the Chargers will face a significant dead cap expense this year; however, their restructure is an ideal strategy for the long term. By spreading out Allen's signing bonus over multiple years instead of all at once in his first year, they can save significant money in future years.
On Thursday, Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams restructured his contract, as reported by Lindsey Ok of Over the Cap. This save the team $26 million in cap space and could be an indication of things to come for the Bolts next season.
Restructuring was a wise decision for two reasons: It will free up $26 million in salary cap space and ensure Williams remains part of the team's future plans.
This could be the beginning of several contract restructurings that will help make the Chargers salary cap compliant, positioning them for future Super Bowl victories.
Tom Telesco has made it very clear that he does not intend to trade Keenan Allen this offseason, and so this restructure was an essential step towards upholding that commitment. Additionally, it served as a reminder to the other receivers in the room that he has no plans of getting rid of them - particularly Williams.
This restructure gives the Bolts an improved opportunity at selecting a top-tier wide receiver in this year's draft. Restructuring will save money for the Chargers in the long run while still making strategic moves that could help them win a championship.
The Bolts have begun the first of many restructures they plan on making to meet their squad cap requirements for next season. To free up space, some players could potentially be cut or restructured in order to create cap compliance.
One potential cut that appeals is left guard Matt Feiler. By cutting him, you would free up space for other decisions. He started every game this season but has only played sparingly due to injuries in recent seasons.
This restructure is the best way for LA to show the league that they intend on being competitive in the future and they are willing to do whatever it takes. While they may need to get creative with salary cap space in order to pay some of their top free agents who come due on their cap, they're ready to move forward with their plans.