Looking Forward At The Chargers Offseason

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Dec 8, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Donald Butler (56) returns an interception past New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) during the first quarter of the game at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers cap situation for the 2014 season doesn’t look pretty at first glance. We are right up against the cap already and that is after losing players in free agency.

The Chargers still will have players like Robert Meachem and Jared Gaither on the books for almost $7M of wasted cap space. They would have wasted a roster space on this team anyway.

There definitely will be ways to free up some space in the cap though. Eric Weddle and Philip Rivers are eating up a big chunk of that cap space. The Chargers are not going to get rid of either of those guys, but both guys would likely restructure their deals in order to make some room. Rivers did it before this season and could do it again to keep a few of his players around.

Another player the Chargers should look to restructure is Jeromey Clary. Can’t believe how much of an asset he has been this season. His contract is stupid, but he has been good at guard and his versatility to go out to right tackle has been huge this season. He is physical in the run game and has quickly changed his reputation around. He is not worth the $6M+ on that salary cap though and the Chargers can save over $4M by releasing him. We should keep the guy around, but not at that price.

Another player that is in the same situation is Eddie Royal. Royal costs $6M on the salary cap and would be tough to keep on the roster at that price. I can’t see him on the roster unless we change that deal around somehow.

The Chargers can save $1.5M by releasing Larry English, so that should happen. He has proved nothing in his time here. Thomas Keiser already has shown that he can take that role on defense.

Cutting LeRon McClain would save the Chargers $2.5M on the salary cap, so he likely is on his way out. The Chargers could sign another cheap fullback or use John Phillips in that role. It is not a role that we use that often on offense anyway.

Derek Cox was a mistake signing and has to be dropped off of the roster. He would save the team some dough as well.

Finally, the Chargers may need to decide which outside linebacker they want to keep. Dwight Freeney might make it easier by retiring, but having Jarret Johnson and Freeney on the roster with Melvin Ingram already there. I would love to keep all 3 and keep a rotation going at that position, but the Chargers might decide otherwise. All three have had injury issues this season and keeping all 3 might be the best for our defense.

In the end, these Chargers should not be on the roster unless they restructure their deal: Jeromey Clary, Eddie Royal, Larry English, Derek Cox, LeRon McClain.That should free up around $15M under the cap and would give the team something to work with. I bet that something happens with Freeney or Johnson as well and that could get us around $18M under the cap.

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Topics: San Diego Chargers

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  • Derek

    Ernie’s the best!!!

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      ask and you shall receive

  • Sergio Quintero

    Very good write up, predictions:

    Contracts renegociated down:
    - Jarrett Johnson
    - Jeromey Clary
    - Maybe Rivers & Weddle, extensions that manage their money

    Cuts & Retirements:
    - Eddie Royal, too injury prone
    - LeRon McClain, sees the field too little to justify a contract, I would keep an eye on the chargers adding Chad Young from SDSU late in the draft or UDFA.
    - Larry English, agree Keiser is a better player
    - Derek Cox, divorce has already been made, only waiting for it to be official
    - Ronnie Brown, another season you risk having an RB that has no burst, its a young man’s position, I expect something around round 3-5. Some names to consider Bishop Sankey, Kadeem Carey, Carlos Hyde.

    I can’t see Pollard here, because I think the chargers like Gilchrist & Addae, one of those guys will be SS.

    Nose tackle I really like the names you offered either one of those guys I’m perfectly happy with.

    I’m really hoping Floyd comes back, he bring a vertical aspect that not even Allen brings to this team, he either plays for the chargers or retires, call it 50-50 right now. If Floyd doesn’t come back, how about an offer to James Jones of the Packers for that vertical stretch WR.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      agree. think we need someone to stretch the field on offense. Allen is great, but that is not something he does. That’s where that slow 40 haunts him. I like Allen Robinson out of Penn State if he can get to the 3rd.
      I like your choice of James Jones. Even Jacoby Jones could work to stretch the field. He could also return some kicks for us as well.

      • Sergio Quintero

        First go after James Jones, and come back to Jacoby if you can’t get deal done with James. While I love Jacoby Jones return ability, he’s no lock to get playing time over Vincent Brown, James Jones should be an upgrade.

        Who do you see the chargers taking as a Pass Rusher in the draft, for me either its Vic Beasley, Trent Murphy in the first or Jeremiah Attaochu, Kyle Van Noy (hoping not holding my breath), Kony Ealy in the second.

        • Nick in PB

          I would LOVE Kony Ealy in the second, if he’s available.

          • Sergio Quintero

            Somebody like Ealy, Van Noy, Attaochu, Lawrence should be available in the second round, combine that with a corner like Dennard/Gilbert in the first and we are talking about something for this defense.

      • #TheBoltFather

        Jacoby Jones seems like a solid, Telesco-like fit. His ability to stretch the field, while being a major asset in the return game, makes him a logical option ( and one I’d welcome with open arms ) for the Bolts. Not a James Jones fan. Has made plays at times. Yes, I know about 2012. But not a guy I want to count on to be a major contributor.

    • Nick in PB

      Love your post Sergio. Agree totally. Brown has to go. English, gone. McClain, too much pay for a seldom used FB. I’d like to see Royal stick, but his salary is too much considering the injuries. Cox is a no-brainer. Hey, we get a good chance seeing Khalil Mack today against the Aztecs. Some early mock drafts already picking him to be a Charger.

  • Derek

    I’d cut Phillips and McClain and pick up Casey from the eagles as a versatile h back or honomowai from ne. I hate to have to pick but I’d pick Jarrett over freeny I’ve seen him blitz set the edge and play coverage. Freeny does rush well but that’s about it. He’s a 4-3 end anyway. I’m still holding on to hope cox will get right by next season Jarrett said himself the seccond season was when he really came on. But if looks the same by the first preaseason cut em. If royal doesn’t restructure cut him I doubt anyone will get more production out of him and his production is worth 2.5. Clary should restructure we nolonger need him to be the back up for every position except center. I don’t think rivers or weddle should restructure their contracts they have everything to do with our wins. A lot of our losses were despite their efforts this and last season. All English can provide is decent depth id rather lock up kaiser and let him test free agency….. Walker too. English is the last lb I’d resign. Shame he works hard but doesn’t produce. Dx I’d sign to a 3-4 mil with heavy incentives. Floyd is commin up too Phillip and him have a priceless connection gotta keep him any means necessary, kinda miss when players grew with a team and decided to spend their career with em.

  • Nick in PB

    I think you’re on to something Ernie!

  • Derek

    I don’t like Cody because he struggles to earn playing time behind nagata. We could be just picking up another teams cam. I think Franklin is the safest, I admit I don’t know solai much. I think pollard would be nice but might be too expensive I have faith in addae/Taylor if we can’t bring stuckey back I say we pick up a fs in the draft later. As for wr if we can’t bring back dx and Floyd I’d go with drafting a reciever Phillip likes. We’ve seen him do it. He has the reccord for most yards attained with over 6 diff recievers. So rather than pay a guy and make phill cater to him. Or getting old man boldin get a young ball snatcher. For cb my dream would be Patrick Peterson but Jenkins or grimes or leave it to the draft.

    • Sergio Quintero

      I would a little forgiving on not getting snaps ahead Ngata, one of the 5 best D-Lineman in the league, you are looking for a starter who is average to slightly above average in Cody.

      • Derek

        But he wasn’t even good enough to take over when nagata was hurt. Durring their sb run I recall nagata playing through a semi serious injury. I dono who was in charge of the dline but that shows me they know the drop off in skill even when nagata was injured is steep.

  • padraigh

    Release R. Brown, McClain, Clipboard Jesus, English,Floyd and Cox.Trade V. Brown. Keep D. Alexander for another year.

    • Sergio Quintero

      I like the odds of all the moves happening except the WR moves, I believe the chargers will keep V.Brown considering he’s been better the last 2 weeks, and 3rd rounders get patience from front offices. And no way Alexander is on this roster, his knee is too much of a risk, if he takes the veteran minimum maybe.

      • #TheBoltFather

        *knees* …. And, you’re right. DX is most likely gone. Trade Vincent Brown? For what? If the team that took him in the third is willing to give up on him already, what value is there? Not happening.

      • Alter Ego

        DX is stellar when healthy. We benefited from that last year. He and Josh Gordon are very similar in their respective playing styles. He gets every benefit of a doubt with exception to any further injuries….it is in our best interest to afford him any opportunity to play again for us. I completely support giving him that chance – the upside is just too great to be careless and not allow him to compete for the roster spot. Imagine him paired with Allen. Imagine Rivers having him available – so no…my vote is lets see – reward him with an opportunity – he may reward us with a Lombardi Trophy,

  • scott stevens

    I like some of those ideas, not a bad team.

  • Alter Ego

    Cox, McClain, English and Brown all are liabilities with the cap and should be considered expendable. Role players at best – bottom of team’s depth chart and impact depleted. Clary is gold…expensive gold but affordable and needed – any restructuring of his contract is a bonus but in the end too exceptional to allow him to walk.

    We go defensive with DB as first pick in the draft. WR is still necessary and Royal who is more unhealthy than not restructures.

    • Nick in PB

      Good call on Royal. Without him, we are really thin at WR. Even though it’s been pretty stellar this season, we are really down to 3 healthy WR’s, not including Royal. The sad thing about Royal, is that he can be very productive, but just like last season, he get’s 1 injury and it lingers throughout the entire season, He’s played through it, shown a lot of toughness, still makes some great catches but has been limited to YAC and even his ability to get open.

      • Alter Ego

        It is a put up or shut up type of career with the NFL. Six TDs is worthy. Royal returns with great anticipation of bigger things. I anticipate him still making an impact before the season ends.
        I still am on the Chargers bandwagon of claiming the last spot in the AFC playoff picture despite the odds. Its a nail biter unless Miami or Baltimore wins this week – I’m of the mindset that they don’t.
        I always enjoy your posts Nick.
        Go Bolts

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